Nothing to LOL about as social media fail to crack down on ...


Nothing to LOL about as social media fail to crack down on racist emojis

A study of tweets sent to soccer players found more than 3,000 abusive messages, 29% of them of them emojis

Ivan Levingston

A wave of online racism aimed at some of England’s black soccer players has highlighted how social media companies’ content moderation systems are failing to monitor the use of emojis.

On Sunday, England’s men’s soccer team, playing in their first major tournament final since 1966, fell to Italy on penalties. In the aftermath, a wave of racist abuse was levelled at three black England players — Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka — and messages on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram included monkey and banana emojis.

The digital abuse isn’t a new phenomenon. The UK’s Professional Footballers’ Association and data science company Signify found in a 2020 study of tweets sent to some players that there were more than 3,000 explicitly abusive messages, with 29% of the racially abusive posts in the form of emojis...

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