Stan Collymore rejoins Twitter after 12 hour protest against apparent lack of action over death threats and racial abuse

Pundit's decision comes after Talksport moves to ban all reference to Twitter in support of the former England striker

Former England footballer Stan Collymore has rejoined Twitter as his campaign to have action taken against ‘trolls’ who are racially abusing a number of people on the social media site continues to gain momentum.

Sports radio station TalkSPORT, which Collymore regularly broadcasts for, announced on Wednesday night that they will no longer be mentioning the social media site or allowing their presenters to read out tweets sent in by listeners – something they have utilised to their benefit in the past.

Collymore had retweeted a number of racially abusive tweets to all of his 509,000-plus followers, with a number of fake or anonymous accounts messaging the former striker with hate mail after Collymore accused Liverpool’s Luis Suarez of diving for a penalty during last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.

The 43-year-old has since reactivated his account having removed himself from the site, amid calls for Twitter to do more in their attempts to take action against these so-called ‘trolls’ that take pleasure in abusing people from behind a screen and keyboard.

Speaking to Sky News about his abuse, Collymore said: “I've no problem with honestly held opinion. If people think I'm an idiot, they're more than welcome to say. They're also more than welcome, within the laws of the United Kingdom, to bring up my past.

“That is genuine use of freedom of speech. But freedom of speech means that if anyone walks past me now and calls me some of the things, or makes some of the threats (that have been made to me on Twitter), they would be arrested.

“The police are banging their heads against a brick wall, having to make requests to get reports and profiles processed. Six weeks later I'm still waiting.

“That means Twitter abuse operates in a bubble, a vacuum.”

Collymore has admitted his frustration with the lack of action against the site, claiming that a number of young users have no idea of the legal consequences that comes with the abuse he is receiving. He also believes that a number of financial factors is behind Twitter’s failure to act to what he sees as an adequate response.

“I believe that the number of active (Twitter) users is monetised, so they would much rather have a billion active users who can say whatever the hell they like, rather than spend money on algorithms, scripts, age verification, tying an account to a phone number, or a credit card, which would of course decrease the numbers,” he claimed.

The matter is nothing new for Collymore, who has been racially abused on Twitter before.

He had previously posted on his account: “In the last 24 hours I've been threatened with murder several times, demeaned on my race, and many of these accounts are still active. Why?

“I accuse Twitter directly of not doing enough to combat racist/homophobic /sexist hate messages, all of which are illegal in the UK.

“Several Police forces have been fantastic. Twitter haven't. Dismayed.”

He also admitted that he has been in direct contact with Staffordshire Police to report the abuse, and criticised Twitter for their lack of action in comparison.

He wrote: “Staffordshire Police coming, again. Just the 5th time. Pity twitter aren't interested.

“Police take all complaints seriously, whoever it is. I've waited 6 weeks for twitter to provide information to Police. Yet to respond.”

Collymore’s decision comes after TalkSPORT announced they will support the presenter by protesting against the social media site.

A statement released on Wednesday read: “TalkSPORT’s chief executive, Scott Taunton, has today written to Twitter to express the station’s dissatisfaction with Twitter’s apparent lack of support of presenter Stan Collymore following a series of abusive messages posted to the presenter on Twitter this weekend.

“In addition, the station is to stop promoting Twitter and its Twitter accounts until the station feels that Twitter is responding appropriately.  No Twitter mentions will appear on air on TalkSPORT, in print in SPORT Magazine or on TalkSPORT’s digital platforms.

“Collymore received a series of offensive messages – including death threats  and racists tweets - that were posted after he suggested Liverpool striker Luis Suarez cheated by diving during last Saturday's match against Aston Villa.  While a number of the tweets are subject to police investigation, Collymore accuses Twitter of not doing enough to combat the abuse.”

Explaining his decision to rejoin, Collymore wanted to highlight both support for his case and further abuse he has received, while he also wanted to address a national newspaper for their front page story on his past.

Collymore wrote: "I deactivated due to more racism/threats overnight which are being passed on, and to see if twitter's protocol works. We'll see!!

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders