Twitter Blue Check

Twitter has not been deleting tweets about footballers of colour containing racist slurs in the ongoing World Cup, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), found that 99 tweets that were reported to contain racist content had been left online in the week before the start of the Qatar World Cup. Out of the 100 tweets that had been reported for racist language, Twitter only deleted one. In addition, the accounts that these tweets came from were not suspended.

Generally, the racist content of these tweets involved the use of the N-word, the use of monkey or banana emojis, calls for players to ‘go back to’ certain countries or jokes about the players’ use of English. Marcus Rashford, Gabriel Jesus, Douglas Luiz, Jadon Sancho, Richarlison, Mohamed Salah, and Bukayo Saka were among the players targeted.

Last year, Rashford, Saka and Sancho were flooded with racist abuse on social media after missing penalities in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

Most of Twitter’s content moderation staff were made redundant when Elon Musk first took over the platform, sparking concerns about how effectively hate speech could be monitored and policed. Within hours of the news of Musk taking over the platform, use of the N-word reportedly soared by 500%, while there were also similar spikes in the use of anti-Semitic, homophobic and transphobic slurs.

Just before the World Cup began, Musk said that “the new Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach”.

CCDH’s CEO Imran Ahmed was critical of this, telling Metro.co.uk that “super-spreaders of hate, abuse and harassment will be the only people to benefit from this latest decision by Twitter.” He called upon the government to “act quickly to ensure that there are minimum safeguards in place to ensure that social media platforms stop acting as wells of hatred and lies that poison and divide our society”.

Musk has also announced that he will offer a “general amnesty” to suspended accounts provided that they hadn’t broken the law or “engaged in egregious spam” [via The Guardian]. Last week, Donald Trump’s Twitter account was reinstated on the platform after Musk polled Twitter users over whether he should be allowed to return, with 51.8% of respondents voting yes and 48.2% voting no. Trump’s account was initially suspended in January 2021 following the riots at the US Capitol.

Kanye West‘s account was also unblocked after he was banned from Twitter for a series of anti-Semitic posts. 

The Qatar World Cup has already been embroiled in controversy over the deaths of migrant workers in the creation of stadiums and the country’s views on homosexuality, which is illegal in Qatar.


The post Elon Musk’s Twitter fails to delete racist tweets aimed at World Cup players appeared first on NME.


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