Instagram will impose stricter penalties including the removal of accounts to prevent abusive messages on its platform, following recent racist abuse directed towards footballers.
Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe, Manchester United Women’s Lauren James and Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger and Reece James are part of a growing list of footballers who have been racially abused on social media in recent weeks.
Manchester United said they were “disgusted” with the comments towards their players on social media and released a joint statement with Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City condemning the abuse endured by multiple professional footballers in recent weeks and months.
The government has said it will change the law to make social media companies more accountable for malicious content.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, says abuse via ‘direct messages’ has been more difficult to police than public posts.
In a statement released on Instagram, the platform said it will now be removing the accounts of people who send abusive messages, and developing new controls to help reduce the abuse people see.