Twitter fails to remove racist tweets aimed at World Cup players
Reported racist tweets, directed at 43 players, have not been removed, according to anti-hate speech campaigners, fueling concerns over possible abuse during the World Cup.
Racist tweets, directed at football players, include N*gg*r and money emojis, amid calls for them to be deported, are still on Twitter.
Research shows that Twitter failed to remove 99 out of 100 racist tweets reported in the week before the World Cup. Only one was removed after being flagged on Wednesday, a tweet that repeated a racial slur 16 times. All the others remain.
The slurs were aimed at 43 players including England stars Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka, who were among several players targeted after the Euro 2020 final.
Analysis conducted by researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) and seen by The Observer, included 100 tweets reported to Twitter.
Among them are 11 that describe players as N*igg*rs, 25 used monkey or banana emojis, 13 called for deporting the players, and 25 attacked players by telling them to “go back to” other countries. Thirteen tweets targeted footballers over their English language skills.
This comes at a turbulent time for Twitter, after thousands of staff have left the company since Elon Musk’s take-over on 27 October.
Musk has insisted that he is committed to preventing the platform from becoming a “free-for-all hellscape”.
The CEO stated that "negative/hate tweets" would be "deboosted & demonetized," but not necessarily removed, in an update to the platform's rules on hate speech last week. Users "won't find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from the rest of [the] internet," the author continued.
There are question marks about how this will be applied to abuse that names or tags specific people, who are likely to read the post without looking for it.