sport news Barcelona's Lionel Messi joins social media boycott and demands action taken ...

Barcelona's Lionel Messi joins football's social media boycott and demands action is taken against online ... as Facebook faces another accusation of ignoring discrimination after they refused to act when a Premier League star was sent monkey emojis Barcelona star Lionel Messi has shown his support for the social media boycott  Facebook, who own Instagram have been accused of refusing to act on abuse  A Premier League player was abused and was sent a series of monkey emojis The club however were told it did not breach Facebook's community rules

By James Sharpe For Mailonline

Published: 20:39 BST, 1 May 2021 | Updated: 20:43 BST, 1 May 2021

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Lionel Messi has thrown his weight behind British football's social media boycott and urged the major platforms to take immediate action against perpetrators of online abuse.

It comes as Facebook, who own Instagram, were once again accused of turning a blind eye to discrimination after it emerged the social media giant refused to act on a report of racism from a Premier League club.

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Football united this weekend in a blackout of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that included clubs and players from the Premier League and Football League, as well as FIFA, UEFA and broadcasters BT Sport and Sky Sports, in a bid to put pressure on the social media companies to do more to stop the rising tide of abuse.

Lionel Messi has thrown his weight behind British football's social media boycott

Lionel Messi has thrown his weight behind British football's social media boycott

It comes as Facebook were once again accused of turning a blind eye to discrimination

It comes as Facebook were once again accused of turning a blind eye to discrimination

The Mail on Sunday has been told that a Premier League club last week reported to Facebook, via a company who help them monitor their social media channels for abuse, that one of their players had been targeted, including being sent a series of monkey emojis.

The club were told it did not breach Facebook's community rules. Only when they asked the Premier League to report it again on their behalf did Facebook remove the emojis. The offending account no longer exists. The club have asked Facebook why they did not take action initially but they are yet to hear a response.

Barcelona star Messi is the seventh-most followed person on Instagram in the world and on Saturday night urged his 200 million followers to demand social media companies take action.

A Premier League player was sent monkey emojis but his club were told the abuse did not breach Facebook's community rules

A Premier League player was sent monkey emojis but his club were told the abuse did not breach Facebook's community rules

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'I believe the moment has arrived for us to realise that there is a flesh and blood person behind every profile, someone who laughs, cries, enjoys, suffers, human beings with feelings.

'Nobody deserves to be ill-treated or insulted. We see and experience increasingly worse abuse on social media and nobody is doing anything to prevent it.

'We should condemn this hostility in the strongest possible terms and demand that the social media networks take urgent measures against this behaviour.'

Messi paid credit to English football for starting the movement and added: 'I would like

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