Twitter and Instagram in quayside with the government open to legal action against social media giants

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Twitter and Instagram in port with government open to legal action against social media giants … with Bournemouth, the latest club infuriated by their apparent reluctance to avoid prosecuting abusers

  • Bournemouth is outraged by the lack of collaboration between Twitter and Instagram
  • Outrage stems from terrible abuse against Junior Stanislas and Arnaut Danjuma
  • The club is angry about Twitter and Instagram’s apparent reluctance to provide information about online abusers
  • Government willing to consider lawsuit against social media companies

The government is open to launching a landmark lawsuit against Twitter and Instagram after clubs accused them of actively preventing the prosecution of online soccer abusers.

Bournemouth is the newest club, Sportsmail to be outraged at the apparent reluctance of social media companies to provide information.

The club’s outrage concerns two shocking cases of racist and Islamophobic abuse targeting players Junior Stanislas and Arnaut Danjuma respectively.

Bournemouth’s Junior Stanislas (L) and Arnaut Danjuma (R) were recently targets of horrific social media abuse

The club is upset that their request for information, via Dorset police, about an account used to abuse Stanislas in January has been rejected by Twitter. Stanislas was attacked on January 2, and the club reported the matter to the police five days later, with a view to opening proceedings against the owner of the account.

After Twitter acknowledged the request for information, it didn’t respond until March 25.

The social media company said they could not provide details of the abuser because the account was deactivated and Twitter could only investigate accounts within 30 days of their cancellation.

The answer was, “We have received your legal process. However, it appears that the account with the username has been deactivated and the requested data is not available through our production tools.

“After an account is deactivated, data for the deactivated account may be available in our production tools for up to 30 days after deactivation.”

Bournemouth is upset that Twitter took so long to investigate the matter and missed their own 30-day deadline as a result. The Dorset club and police received a similar response regarding Danjuma, who fell victim to Islamophobic abuse via Instagram on March 11.

Bournemouth and police filed a request for information on Instagram the next day.

On April 27, Instagram replied: ‘We have received your request. Please note that we cannot produce data because the information you have provided is not linked to a valid account. If you would like to address this matter further, please submit a new registration request. ‘

Bournemouth is outraged by Twitter and Instagram's lack of cooperation following the abuse against their players

Bournemouth is outraged by Twitter and Instagram’s lack of cooperation following the abuse against their players

Because Twitter and Instagram do not provide relevant details, the perpetrators have escaped punishment. A statement from Dorset Police said: ‘Without this information, agents have been unable to conduct further investigations and investigations have now been completed.

‘We are committed to working with football clubs and other partner organizations to do everything we can to investigate these crimes and ensure that victims are supported.

“We would continue to urge all victims of this horrific abuse to report it to the police and we will do everything we can to obtain the relevant information from the social media companies involved.”

However, Instagram believes that they have fully cooperated with the Bournemouth and Dorset Police Department regarding Danjuma and that their difficulty in providing the relevant information is simply a misunderstanding because a relevant form has been filled in incorrectly.

Bournemouth cannot comprehend how technologically advanced companies such as Twitter and Instagram cannot find the details of deactivated accounts. And there is concern that they are just brushing away the issue of social media abuse.

Indeed, the United Kingdom Football Policing Unit (UKFPU) is believed to have informed clubs that they will consider the possibility of taking the matter to court in order to effectively compel social media companies to provide information to the relevant authorities should further cases arise.

News of a potential legal challenge comes as English football prepares to boycott social media this weekend in response to the lack of action from companies such as Instagram and Twitter to combat online abuse against footballers.

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