EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson explains why he joined BT’s Hope United team to tackle online abuse … with the English star keen to help protect ‘vulnerable’ young stars
- BT has launched a new initiative to tackle social media abuse
- Henderson and others will use the euros to put pressure on social media sites
- The Liverpool captain has pledged to join BT Sport’s Hope United this summer
- He will be alongside other famous stars such as Marcus Rashford and Gareth Bale
- They want to force social media giants like Twitter and Instagram to wake up
Jordan Henderson Joins forces with other players to use this summer’s euro to put pressure on social media companies – with Liverpool captain Sportsmail a limit is constantly being crossed.
The feel-good story of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson returning home as a late winner was followed by West Bromwich Albion defender Semi Ajayi who revealed the racist messages he received on Instagram afterwards.
Henderson recently turned over his social media accounts to Cybersmile, an anti-cyberbullying charity, and he has now agreed to join BT Sport’s Hope United, along with other big names including Marcus Rashford and Gareth Bale.
Jordan Henderson and others will use the euro to put pressure on social media sites
Marcus Rashford (left) and Gareth Bale are among the stars who have come together to tackle online abuse
Together they want to force social media giants like Twitter and Instagram to wake up to the state of their platforms and teach the nation how to be “ better digital citizens. ”
“It’s normal for players to go on social media after a game,” Henderson said. ‘There is always criticism, things that are not fun.
‘That is part of football. But there is a limit, and that limit is often crossed. That’s difficult to deal with as a player, as a person.
‘I hope there will be consequences for people who abuse online. Effects. I feel that because there is none, people can write what they do, do what they want. ‘
The Liverpool captain has agreed to join BT Sport’s Hope United this summer (above)
He and others hope to force social media giants like Twitter and Instagram to wake up
Henderson joined Twitter and Instagram in early 2015. Later that year he was made the captain of Liverpool. He thinks it is important to have that direct connection with the fan base.
But he says young people are now exposed to hatred. “When you’re a younger player coming into the spotlight, you’re the most vulnerable,” said Henderson. ‘You’re not used to it, and it can be a shock.
‘It is important to have good people around to help those younger players with that. They can suffer the most. I feel like we can use our profiles to make changes.
That is the influence we can have. This campaign, the social media boycott, things like that can lead to conversations. Hopefully the social media companies are listening. Something has to happen. ‘
BT’s Hope United will bring the UK together to tackle online abuse as part of BT’s commitment to digitally educate the country. For more information on how to play your part, check out BT’s Tech Tips on bt.com/hopeunited. Together we can beat hate online.