Euro 2020 abuse: How to report racism online and the anti-racist organisations to support

Racist abuse targeted at England footballers sparked widespread condemnation. Kate Ng details how you can help make sure offensive content gets reported

Monday 12 July 2021 15:54 BST
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Following England’s loss at the UEFA Euro 2020 finals against Italy, racist abuse levelled at three of the national team’s black players surged online, with thousands of offensive comments flooding their social media pages.

The abuse has drawn condemnation from government figures, including Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Oliver Dowden, as well as from the Football Association.

Johnson said the team “deserve to be lauded as heroes” and called the social media abuse “appalling”, while a spokesperson for the FA warned that “anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team”.

Prince William, the president of the FA, also spoke out against the offensive comments made and said in a rare, but strongly-worded statement that he was “sickened” by them.

“It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour,” said the Duke of Cambridge on his official Twitter account with Kate Middleton. “It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.”

If you see comments containing racist abuse and hate speech against the players on social media, here’s what you can do:

Report it to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

You can report discriminatory posts and comments on social media platforms, which will prompt moderators to decide whether they should be removed.

On Facebook, you can click on three dots on the top right hand corner of any post and choose the “Find support or report post” option. A pop-up will appear asking you to select a problem, such as “hate speech”, “violence”, “harassment” or “false information”.

The process is similar to report a comment. You can click on three dots that appear next to a comment when you hover your mouse over it and choose to report the comment. You can also block the user or hide all content from them if you no longer wish to see their posts.

On Instagram, you can report a post for hate speech or symbols and racist language or activity. You can report a post by tapping on three dots above the post, choosing “Report” and following the on-screen instructions.

You can also report another user through their profile by tapping three dots on the top right of their profile and choosing “Report”.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Facebook said: “No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram. We quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules.

“In addition to our work to remove this content, we encourage all players to turn on Hidden Words, a tool which means no one has to see abuse in their comments or DMs. No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.”

To report abusive behaviour on Twitter, click on three dots on the top right hand corner of the offensive tweet and choose “Report Tweet”, then select “It’s abusive or harmful”.

Twitter will ask you to provide more information about the issue and may ask you to select additional tweets from the account you’re reporting for evaluation.

Report it to the police

You can report online hate material to the police through True Vision, a reporting tool owned by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

The police will assess it and if it does not meet the threshold for a criminal offence it is recorded as a “hate incident”.

The Met have condemned the abuse targeted towards the England players and said they will be investigating “offensive and racist” social media posts.

The force said in a statement on Twitter: “We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comment being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final.

“This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.”

Support anti-racism organisations

Organisations fighting hate crime and discrimination, as well as supporting victims and witnesses of such crimes, play a huge role in raising awareness, educating and stopping such incidents from happening.

You can support these organisations by donating, volunteering, and sharing information on your own social media pages.

Stop Hate UK provides resources, as well as reporting tools and support for those who have been subjected to hate crime. Similarly, SARI (Stand Against Racism and Inequality) is a charity that provides support for victims of hate crime. It also engages with businesses and organisations to provide equality training and education.

You can also support educational charity Show Racism The Red Card, which provides anti-racism workshops, training sessions, multimedia packages and more.

The UK’s leading independent race equality think tank, the Runnymede Trust, is hard at work researching, building networks and carrying out policy engagement to address inequalities. Donations to the think tank will help them continue carrying our research and engaging with policy makers on the issue.

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