The Instagram user who racially abused Swansea player Yan Dhanda will not be banned from the social media network.
Instagram owner Facebook told The Associated Press on Friday it does “not want racism and hate on our platforms” but would let the account in question stay active as long as the abuse did not persist for an unspecified number of times. Only the ability to send messages will be restricted for an unstated period of time.
Police in south Wales have responded more robustly, with officers investigating and calling it a “priority” to tackle hate crime.
Dhanda was targeted with the online racism after his soccer team’s FA Cup loss to Manchester City on Wednesday.
“The person who sent this message has been restricted from sending messages for a set period of time, and we will remove new accounts created to get around this restriction,” Instagram owner Facebook said in an emailed statement to the AP. “We think it’s important people have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes but, per the new measures put in place this week, if they continue to break our rules this account will be removed.”
Dhanda had complained about racism being rife on social media before the announcement the account would not be suspended.
“How can this STILL be happening in 2021? I’m so proud of who I am and representing Asians,” he wrote on Twitter. “More has to be done.”
Dhanda, who played in the youth ranks at Liverpool, has received messages of support from across soccer.
“It is so important these matters are dealt with in an appropriate way,” he told broadcaster Sky Sports. “Equally, it is so important we continue to educate and highlight success stories from all communities in the game.”
The English Football Association has written this week to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter counterpart Jack Dorsey asking for them to do more to eradicate racism from the platforms.
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