Sunday 18 April 2021
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theguardian - 2 month ago

The horrific abuse of sports stars exposes social media s mob rule | Simon Jenkins

Sonja McLaughlan is just the latest innocent victim. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter must do more to stop the hateAfter covering last Saturday’s Wales-England rugby match, the BBC’s reporter Sonja McLaughlan found herself sitting in her car in tears. She had received a torrent of sexist obscenities and abuse on social media. “Toxic, embarrassing, disgraceful, appalling,” she said. She was not alone. After apparently being glimpsed on video absent-mindedly not applauding the Welsh team after the same match, the England player Ellis Genge suffered death threats. The two join other sporting figures awaiting the anger of a rhetorical mob, rallied by others on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They currently include the rugby league referee James Child, the football pundit Karen Carney, the Swiss eSports presenter Soe Gschwind-Penski and countless players who endure terrible abuse for doing their jobs. Continue reading...


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