Kick It Out will meet representatives of Twitter within the next fortnight regarding concerns over racism and other abuse aimed at footballers on the social media platform.
Paul Pogba became the third player in seven days to suffer racist comments on Twitter after he missed a penalty in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at Wolves on Monday.
Kick It Out is expected to outline at the meeting, with a high-level executive from Twitter UK, its argument that because of the sheer number of the platform’s users the onus is on the company to take the initiative to try to eradicate abuse.
A study commissioned by Kick It Out and executed by a social media branding company found that between August 2014 and March 2015 there were 135,000 discriminatory posts levelled at players and other staff associated with the 20 Premier League clubs. Although this is considerable, the anti-discrimination body may outline to Twitter that this is a small proportion of the abuse on the platform.
United say that football should act centrally, and it is understood that the club wants Kick It Out, the Premier League and Football Association to act in concert, along with government, to effect change. The FA is seeking a meeting with Twitter, and the Premier League is engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the platform and other relevant stakeholders, including the government.
Last month the Premier League, FA and English Football League wrote an open letter to the minister for sport calling for a review of banning orders and the creation of a working group “to establish where social media companies can support our desire to prevent discriminatory behaviour online”.
Twitter said: “This is a societal issue and requires a societal response. This is why we maintain a dialogue with both the PFA and Kick It Out and are committed to working together to address abusive online and racist behaviour across the industry. We continue to liaise closely with our partners to identify meaningful solutions to this unacceptable behaviour – both offline and on.”