June 18, 2021

Police, Instagram close Osayi-Samuel racism investigations

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The Metropolitan Police and Instagram have closed their investigations into the racist abuse sent to Fenerbahce midfielder Bright Osayi-Samuel – with no action taken.

The 23-year-old, who played for QPR at the time, was racially abused on the social media platform after their 1-1 draw with Norwich on December 29. He posted a screenshot of the messages, describing it as “disgusting and painful”.

The police and Instagram launched investigations, but both say they have been unable to take action against the user for various reasons.

Bright Osayi-Samuel, QPR (Downloaded from PA)
Image: Bright Osayi-Samuel was racially abused on the social media platform after QPR’s 1-1 draw with Norwich on December 29

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told Sky Sports News: “Police received a third party report of racial and abusive messages directed at a person via social media on 30 December, 2020. The comments are believed to have been posted the previous day.

“Officers made repeated attempts to contact the alleged victim with a view to taking a statement. However, he declined to support any police action and so the case has been closed.”

Instagram say they need victims of abuse, through direct messages, to report it “using the in-app tools” before they can take action.

Sky Sports News understands the social media company has reached out to Osayi-Samuel, through his new club Fenerbahce, to explain their protocols for reporting abuse in direct messages.

Against Online Hate

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This is the message from Sky Sports presenters and reporters, who have united in supporting a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of online hate and abuse on social media.

At Sky Sports, everybody is welcome – and that’s a message we are proud to share.

Inclusion is integral to Sky, and few activities bring people together like sport. Whether participating, watching the action live, or talking about the big event, we all deserve to get satisfaction, joy and entertainment out of the sports we love.

At Sky Sports we are committed to covering all aspects of sport.

We are committed to doing more to tackle racism, highlight racial injustice and support communities impacted by racism.

In an interview with Sky Sports News, Facebook Content Policy Manager Fadzai Madzingira, who works across Instagram and Facebook, discusses what steps social media companies can take alongside the government to tackle online hate.

We are committed to capturing the excitement and passion of all sports. We will shine a light on the issues affecting under-represented groups in sport and be a force for good to help sports grow at all levels.

Sky is also committed to diversity in sport, both as an employer, broadcaster and publisher. As we say, everybody is welcome.

The social media companies are best placed to deal with harmful content on their platforms, and we would like them to do more. As a publisher on social media platforms it is difficult for us to monitor and manage every comment that is posted and take action against every abusive or hateful comment.

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Kick It Out’s chief executive Tony Burnett says social media users being forced to declare personal information could deter potential abusers

But, we will use the power of our reach and our voice – and the voices of our people – to highlight the scale of online hate and the damage that it can inflict upon our people, the guests on our broadcasts and our customers.

We are committed to inspiring change. We will try to remove all hateful and abusive comments from our posts on our own and on social media channels.

We are committed to try to make Sky Sports’ website and our channels on social media platforms a place for comment and debate that is free of abuse, hate and profanity.

We will take the following action:

Sky Sports will use the power of its reach and voice to highlight the scale of online hate and abuse and the damage that it can inflict upon people

We will seek to remove as many abusive and hateful comments posted on skysports.com and our channels on social media platforms as we can

We will block users bringing hate to our comments sections on our website and channels on social media platforms

We will report hate and abuse to the social media platforms

We will report the most serious cases to the relevant authorities

We strive to make our channels respectful places where sporting conversations thrive

We will keep commissioning journalism that shines a light on social injustices and inequality in sport

We will work with the social media platforms and policymakers to make their platforms safer and more respectful

Kick It Out reporting racism

Online Reporting Form | Kick It Out

Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices, and campaign for positive change.

Kick It Out’s new chief executive Tony Burnett recently sat down with Sky Sports to discuss the ongoing fight against online hate in football.