Instagram Vows Clampdown after Racist Abuse of Premier League Players

London, Feb 10 (AFP/APP): Instagram announced new measures to tackle online abuse on Wednesday following a spate of “horrifying” racist attacks on Premier League footballers.

A number of high-profile players including Manchester United trio Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Axel Tuanzebe, as well as Chelsea full-back Reece James, have been targeted on social media in recent weeks. Instagram said it would remove accounts being used to send abusive messages. Fadzai Madzingira, content policy manager at Instagram’s parent company Facebook, told Britain’s Press Association news agency she was “horrified” at the vitriol directed at footballers.

“Currently, we will set a specific ban or what we call a block for a set amount of time when someone violates those rules and we extend that time should they continue to do so,” she said. “What we’re announcing today is that we’re taking tougher measures on people who violate those rules in Instagram direct messaging, so instead of just extending the time, we’ll be removing the accounts altogether. “That allows us to ensure that we have a lower tolerance for that sort of abuse in direct messaging and we’ll be closing those accounts more quickly in Instagram direct messaging than anywhere else on the platform.”

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