By Warren Haughton
19th August 2019
I’D prefer to be discussing what a big season this is for Tammy Abraham.
Rookie boss Frank Lampard has placed a huge amount of faith in the striker who hit 27 goals for Aston Villa last season as they returned to the Premier League.
But the 21-year-old became the latest black player to be hit with racist abuse on Twitter after his missed penalty handed Liverpool the UEFA Super Cup.
The list of players who have turned on their phone and checked their Twitter notifications and be on the receiving end of racism is too long to mention.
Anti-discrimination organisation Kick It Out as usual were quick out of the blocks to condemn the abuse.
While team-mates and other Premier League players showed solidarity including Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford.
TWITTER ON MUTE
And as time ticked by, where were Twitter?
They were busy copying and pasting a tired press release used the last time they had to deal with racist morons on their platform, and the time before that, and so on.
The social media platform with 321 million monthly users have been called out by players, managers and the football authorities to do more to police their site.
The players themselves through the PFA boycotted social media for 24 hours earlier this year, but that fell on deaf Twitter ears.
So, Twitter, after 13 years in existence have announced they will finally hold talks about online abuse.
So why now?
NO APPETITE FOR CHANGE
Why can’t they simply do the right thing and immediately block racist abuse?
If they really had the appetite they could do it.
As users, we can mute words we don’t want to see by changing our privacy settings.
So surely one of the biggest tech companies in the world, raking in hundreds of millions in advertising alone can do so much more?
The answer is yes, which is why Twitter should hang their heads in shame.
A few days ago, I stumbled across a tweet that had been blocked due to a potential copyright infringement.
In other words, they move quicker than Usain Bolt to protect broadcast rights holders of games than the footballers themselves.
That is a sad indictment on Twitter, but I just can’t pretend to be surprised.