Swansea midfielder Yan Dhanda says Facebook’s decision to keep open the account of the person who racially abused him on social media has provided “more fuel for hate”.
The 22-year-old suffered the Instagram abuse following Swansea’s FA Cup defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday, becoming the latest in a long list of recent incidents of footballers receiving abuse on social media.
The matter was reported to South Wales Police and investigations are continuing.
The punishment given to the perpetrator actually gives more fuel for hate as now they know for sure there are no firm consequences to their actions online. His dm's may be restricted but the ramifications of his actions continue to ripple through our community…😤😤 https://t.co/1wmC5zB6GF
— Yan (@yandhanda) February 14, 2021
Facebook, which owns Instagram, says the individual will only be temporarily blocked from sending Instagram messages and not have their account shut down.
Dhanda, who is of British Asian background, wrote on Twitter: “The punishment given to the perpetrator actually gives more fuel for hate as now they know for sure there are no firm consequences to their actions online.
“His dm’s may be restricted but the ramifications of his actions continue to ripple through our community.”
Swansea had previously criticised Facebook’s stance that accounts should not be shut down in light of racist messages being sent and that people should have the “opportunity to learn from their mistakes”.
🗣 “He won’t be beaten by mindless individuals and neither will Swansea City Football Club.”
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) February 12, 2021
The Sky Bet Championship club issued a statement on Saturday, which they said was published with the full support of the English Football League.
The statement read: “Swansea City is shocked and surprised by the leniency shown by Facebook towards one of their users who racially abused a member of our playing squad.
“The abhorrent level of abuse that we have witnessed this week means that once again we seek stronger action from social media companies in order to stamp this type of toxic behaviour out and we fully back the EFL’s open letter that was sent to Twitter and Facebook in light of recent events.
“It is appalling that Facebook cannot empathise more with the victim of such offensive messages and Yan Dhanda continues to have our full support at the football club as we work with South Wales Police to assist in their ongoing investigation.”
Facebook, responding to the Dhanda case, said this week: “We do not want racism and hate on our platforms.
“The person who sent this message has been restricted from sending messages on Instagram for a set period of time, and we will remove new accounts created to get around this restriction.
“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.”
Manchester United players Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe, Anthony Martial and Lauren James are among those who have been the targets of racist abuse on social media, along with West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers and Chelsea defender Reece James – Lauren’s brother.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce said on Thursday he had been made aware of social media users wishing him dead, while referee Mike Dean asked not to officiate a Premier League game this weekend after he and his family received death threats.