Voice of the Jewish News: Social media trolls must pay penalty

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Voice of the Jewish News: Social media trolls must pay penalty

After England's Euro 2020 dramatics which led to an outpouring of racist abuse, we ask when the final whistle will be blown on cyberhate.

A digital mural of England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in Manchester.
A digital mural of England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in Manchester.

Have you come out from behind the sofa yet…? In the end, after all the hope and hype, football didn’t find its way home. Rather, it decided to shack up with an old lover, one that’s won no less than six major football titles to England’s paltry one. We’ll have to bang on about 1966 for a while longer.

By now you’ll hopefully have put the disappointment of England’s defeat on penalties into perspective and recognised the legacy of Euro2020 was the pride and positivity gifted to our nation by young role models and their impressive manager.

Sadly, that’s not the conclusion inevitably drawn by all. Too many people have expressed their frustrations – and revealed their inadequacies – by unleashing a torrent of racism at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, the three players who missed decisive spot kicks.

Almost all the abuse has spewed from social media platforms that are at best reluctant, at worst recalcitrant, when it comes to filtering out filth. Our community knows better than most how pervasive and poisonous unregulated online hate can be.

This week the prime minister held talks with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, urging them finally to put people before profit and hold those who abuse their platforms to account. The time has surely come for these companies to clean out their closets by introducing registration requirements that can enable them to provide police with the details of those responsible for spreading filth. 

Make the perpetrators live with the full consequences of their actions and we might be halfway towards blowing the final whistle on cyberhate.

Now, roll on the 2022 World Cup (even if it is in Qatar).

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