The world’s largest social networks say racism is not welcome on their platforms, but a combination of poor enforcement and weak rules has allowed hate to thrive.
In the hours following England’s loss to Italy in the European Football Championship, both Twitter and Facebook, the owners of Instagram, issued statements condemning the growing racist abuse.
“The abhorrent racist abuse targeting England players last night has absolutely no place on Twitter,” the social network said on Monday morning. A Facebook spokesperson similarly said: “No one should be subjected to racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram.”
But the statements had little to do with the company’s users’ experience. On Instagram, where thousands left comments on the pages of Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho, supportive users who tried to report abuse of the platform were surprised by the response.