Paul Pogba may be invited to submit evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into social media
By Bryan Swanson, Chief Reporter
Last Updated: 22/08/19 5:38pm
Manchester United’s Paul Pogba may be invited to submit evidence to a parliamentary inquiry into social media, it has been revealed.
Twitter and club representatives will meet in the next few weeks to discuss the racist abuse aimed at Pogba following Monday night's game with Wolves.
Pogba was targeted after failing to score a penalty in the 1-1 draw at Molineux on Monday and was backed by team-mates Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford, who called on Twitter to take action against the culprits.
A sub-committee of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been reviewing social media since April, following the publication of a report on Disinformation and 'fake news' in February.
The committee's chair has confirmed it is monitoring Pogba's case and will hold talks with committee members when the House of Commons returns from summer recess next month.
Damian Collins MP has told Sky Sports News: "The committee would be interested in hearing from any person or organisation that has sought action from social media companies to stop this kind of abuse, but not received a satisfactory response.
"The racist comments directed against players like Paul Pogba should be considered against the duty of care the social medial companies have towards their users. If say, in the case of Paul Pogba, a tech company failed to close down accounts that had repeatedly targeted him with racist abuse, then that company would have failed in its duty of care.
"In that situation there should be a sanction applied against the tech company as well as action taken against the person who had been posting the comments."
There are no current plans to invite Pogba, or other footballers, to give evidence in person.
The DCMS Committee recommended that "clear legal liabilities should be established for tech companies to act against harmful or illegal content on their sites. There is now an urgent need to establish independent regulation."
Collins has supported calls for social media companies to verify every account.
He said: "The government's online harms white paper has set out the principles of the duty of care that social media companies have towards their users, and how this could be policed and enforced by a regulator. I want to see this approach set out in law as soon as possible."
A Twitter spokesperson told Sky Sports News: "We know we need to do more to protect our users. Racist behaviour has no place on our platform and we strongly condemn it."