Ofcom chief castigates social media giants over racist Euro 2020 messages | Ofcom


The head of Britain’s communications regulator will pledge to tackle social media companies for their failure to root out online abuse this week as she condemns their lack of success in tackling racism targeting three England footballers.

Abuses targeting Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after missing penalties in England’s final Euro 2020 defeat have resulted in a huge wave of support for the trio. However, they have also been targeted by a stream of racist and tropic posts that plagued their social media accounts.

In her first intervention on the episode, Melanie Dawes, Chief Executive Officer of Ofcom, will make it clear that she will deploy new powers to be given to the organization to force social media companies to act faster. In a keynote address Monday, she will say the need to regulate social media giants “has become even more focused.”

“Some of our incredible England football teams have been the victims of racist abuse on major social media platforms,” ​​she said. “There is no room in our society for racism, whether it occurs online or offline, and by their own admission the platforms have not done enough to remove these appalling comments at a national moment. critical. They just have to do a lot better than that in the future.

“When Ofcom has the power to regulate online security, we will ask social media platforms to account for abuses like this. They need to be much more transparent about the rules they have in place to deal with it, and we will act to make sure those rules are properly enforced. “

As part of major changes to the powers it has to regulate social media companies, Ofcom is expected to have the option of fining them for inaction as part of reforms included in an upcoming security bill in Canada. line. However, prominent figures who have been victims of online abuse insist that the legislation does not go far enough.

Dawes will warn of a clear distrust of social media companies, adding that there is “no transparency and no consistency regarding rules and algorithms – how free speech is underpinned while the Harmful and abusive content is combated and prevented from going viral ”. She will add, “By bringing accountability and transparency to this area for the first time, we can protect these great advances while building a safer online life for everyone. “

It comes after Adam Mosseri, chief executive of Instagram, owned by Facebook, admitted last week that mistakes were made by the company’s technology, which allowed the publication of abusive messages. Thousands of separate messages were reportedly received by players after last Sunday’s loss. The messages included monkey and banana emojis which were still displayed a few days after the game.

Mosseri said his moderation technology temporarily “erroneously marked some of them as benign comments, which they absolutely are not.” He added: “It is absolutely not acceptable to send racist emojis, or any type of hate speech, to Instagram.”

Facebook has revealed that it is working with police in the UK to provide details of users who submitted abuse. Saka said he knew he would receive racist messages after missing the penalty. “To social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: I don’t want a child or an adult to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that I, Marcus and Jadon have received,” he wrote this week. “I instantly knew the kind of hate I was about to receive and it is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these [hate] messages, ”he said.

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