Football star Thierry Henry is quitting social media – disabling all his social media accounts – to protest cyberbullying.
The former Arsenal player announced in a post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Friday he would disable all his social media accounts “until the people in power are able to regulate the platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright.”
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The football star has 10 million followers on Facebook, 2.3 million on Twitter and 2.7 million on Instagram.
“The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore,” he wrote.
“There has to be some accountability. It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without consequence and still remain anonymous.”
His accounts will remain disabled until “this changes”, he said
“I hope this happens soon.”
His post has been shared more than 1,200 times on Facebook, retweeted over 14,2000 times and quoted 1,700 times on Twitter and liked by more than 171,000 people on Instagram.
It has generated reaction to the ease and anonymity behind cyberbullying.
“Every account should be verified,” replied @GoonerBhoy_88 on Twitter. “All accounts should be linked to a passport/license or another form of identification. Wouldn’t be so many hero’s posting racist abuse or bullying of any form when it can be tracked back. It’s a shame it coming to this but change is required.”
@Chelista101 responded, “Be careful what you wish for. There’s a long history of decisions made with good intentions ending up in catastrophe. Destroying anonymity on the internet can easily be one and consequences could be irreversible.”
Kim Chisholm wrote on Facebook: “Racism, bullying and trolling are not acceptable ever. I am so sad you have experienced any of this. No one has the right to do this to another person. You are very much respected and loved – and missed.”