Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has handed full control of his social media platforms to an anti-cyberbullying charity in an attempt to raise awareness of the impact of online abuse.
The abuse was labelled as “abhorrent” by the Premier League side, who called on social media platforms to do more to crack down on the issue.
From Thursday, Henderson’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts will be ran by the Cybersmile Foundation, who will use the midfielder’s following to promote its anti-cyberbullying campaign.
“Recently I’ve been thinking about what I can do, as an individual, to try and make a difference,” Henderson said.
“I’ve seen friends, team-mates, other players within football and in wider society be on the receiving end of horrendous online abuse which is now out of control.
“The platforms should be doing more but as a society we need to be kinder to each other – that’s where it starts and stops.
“I have seriously considered deleting my social media accounts in the last few weeks but instead I want to use my platforms to try and drive positive change - people shouldn’t have to boycott platforms or deactivate accounts just to avoid abuse.
“So I’m handing all my social media accounts over to Cybersmile who I have partnered with to raise awareness of the impact that cyberbullying and online abuse can have on people.
“They’ll be sharing stories of people affected as well as resources for education, reporting and how to get help if you or someone you know is struggling. Things have got to change.”
Swansea City launched a seven-day boycott of social media on Thursday with the club announcing that “enough is enough” after three of their players received racist abuse online this season, while Arsenal and Manchester United have also launched campaigns recently.
“Everybody at Cybersmile is honoured to be working alongside Jordan on this important campaign, designed to serve as a reminder that behind social media profiles there are real people with real feelings,” the foundation’s co-founder, Dan Raisbeck, said.
“By effectively utilising Jordan’s powerful platform, we will be reaching millions of people with behaviour-changing insights into the effects that cyberbullying and online abuse has on people’s lives, as well as offering potentially live-saving access to crucial advice and support services.”
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