Thierry Henry said he would return to social media "when it's safe" and already "unused as a hate weapon." The former Arsenal and Barcelona striker deleted all his profiles on Saturday, describing current levels of racism and threats on online platforms as "too toxic to ignore". The actions of the 43-year-old Frenchman, announced in a statement on Friday, come during a series of hate posts aimed at footballers, including him.
"It happened to me recently outside of social networks, it happened on social networks. But recently it happens too often - players are offended. I just don't think social networking is a safe place right now. People are insulted on racial grounds, but when you see the statement, I'm also talking about threats, harassment that can lead to mental problems, people commit suicide because of such things. It is very difficult to remove them all, but can it be safer? We all know that this is a huge tool, but many people use it as a weapon. Why? Because they can hide behind fake profiles. I know that a small part of the world uses it as a weapon. "Could it be safer?" I keep wondering. I will return to social media when it is safe, "he told Good Morning Britain.
Henri, who left his post at Montreal Impact last month, had 2.3 million followers on Twitter and another 2.7 million followers on Instagram. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, took action on 6.6 million hate speech messages between October and December last year. He remained unhappy with the reaction of social media companies and compared the attitude towards offensive publications to those that violate copyright law, while calling for more serious regulation and accountability. His assumptions about banning anonymous accounts included requiring a National Insurance number or passport to log in to accounts. "I'm just tired of what I've heard in response all along."
"Social networks always say, 'We're investigating it, we're trying to fix it as a problem,' but the glass overflowed because I found that if you want to upload a video to social networks, they'll block it, you can't even send it." We all know why - because of copyright, because money is involved, so it's different. Now for that they can create algorithms to make you not do it. They will stop you there, they will act seriously. I know that people will tell me "freedom of speech" and "one word can be used in different ways." But listen, you can't go to the movies and shout whatever you want, you can't shout whatever you want on the street, you can't shout whatever you want at the airport. You can't cross the border. All I want is responsibility. We need to understand which people are behind these actions, "Henri concluded. / BGNES