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Social media could face "billions of pounds" worth of fines over abuse

Social media firms could be left to face fines totalling "billions of pounds" from the UK government if they fail to address the abuse on its platforms.

Marcus rashford Social media could face "billions of pounds" worth of fines over abuse

The news comes in a week which has seen footballers including Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial, as well as Reece James and Romain Sawyers receive racial abuse online.

The individuals listed, alongside governing bodies and the government have called into question the lack of movement from social media in their efforts to see this level of abuse permanently removed from their platforms.

Speaking to the BBC, culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: "We are willing to take the harder, legislative measures.

"I certainly am prepared to get tough. If you fail to enforce your own terms and conditions, stand up to your duty of care, then we will impose fines and we'll take the power to impose very large fines - indeed up to 10 per cent of global turnover.

"For some of these big tech firms that's running to billions of pounds."

Despite the level of abuse hitting the headlines and causing debates regarding what needs to be done last week, Southampton's Alex Jankewitz became subject to racist abuse following his sides defeat to Manchester United on Tuesday evening, forcing the club into contacting Hampshire Police over the matter.

A statement from Kick It Out read: "We support the government stance on tackling online hate.

"We want to see change on the social media platforms implemented as quickly and comprehensively as possible. Too many footballers have experienced abuse on their social channels for too long. Change has to come now."

Author: Jake Wilkin