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Fred racially abused online after Liverpool defeat

Manchester United midfielder Fred was racially abused on Instagram after his side’s defeat by Liverpool on Thursday. Instagram has removed a number of offending comments from the Brazilian’s profile and disabled some accounts.

 

“The racist abuse on Fred’s post is unacceptable and we don’t want it on Instagram”, said a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram. Earlier this season Fred highlighted similar abuse he received, saying we “cannot feed that culture” of racism.

 

The abuse the 28-year-old was subjected to on Thursday came less than two weeks after English football took part in a four-day social media boycott in an attempt to tackle such discrimination. In April, Instagram announced a tool to enable users to automatically filter out abusive messages from those they do not follow on the platform. Facebook “urges” people to make use of the safety features which it says “can meaningfully decrease the abuse people experience”.

 

“No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we’re committed to doing what we can to keep our community safe from abuse,” the social media company said in a statement.

 

A number of players in English football, including several of Fred’s Manchester United team-mates, have also been targeted by online discrimination in recent months.

 

Earlier this month, the Premier League side said it found a 350% increase in abuse directed towards its players, with 3,300 posts targeting them during the period of September 2019 to February 2021.

 

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