Collymore back on Twitter amid abuse row

Published Thursday, 23 January 2014
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Former footballer Stan Collymore, who deleted his Twitter account amid a row over the social networking company’s response to persistent racist abuse and death threats, has since reinstated it.

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The pundit, who now works for UTV Media-plc owned talkSPORT, has accused Twitter of not doing enough to crack down on abusive messages.

Collymore had been highlighting some of the worst examples - including one sent to him by a 14-year-old boy in Dungannon, Co Tyrone.

"The abuse that I'm getting now, it's casual, cruel, racist abuse - photos being sent to me by children of hangings in the Deep South, talk of slavery and cotton picking," he explained.

On Wednesday evening, the mum of the Dungannon teenager took to Twitter to apologise openly to Collymore for her son's actions.

"I'm gutted, he's devastated," she said.

Sadly, some people mistakenly believe that anything said or done on Twitter or Facebook somehow doesn’t count, they are very wrong. It doesn’t matter if the person is famous or not, this sort of behaviour is often illegal.

Staffordshire Police

In response to other users, the woman said that her son had received abuse for what he had done, but that he would not be allowed online for "a very long time".

She added: "He is sorry and didn't think, he's just turned 14, he has learnt a very hard lesson.

"He is not racist in anyway, he was very stupid."

Her son's account remains suspended, while Collymore's account - which had over 500,000 followers - was deactivated on Thursday morning but back later that afternoon.

He had to start gathering followers again from scratch.

talkSPORT has already declared a Twitter boycott, stating that it will not promote the social networking site on air until the station feels the situation is being taken seriously.

"We are dismayed at the lack of response and perceived inaction by Twitter. Racist or abusive messages of this nature are illegal and unacceptable," chief executive Scott Taunton said.

"It seems inconceivable that a hi-tech company with a market capitalisation of $30bn appears incapable of preventing racist and abusive tweets being broadcast across its platform."

Police, including the PSNI, are investigating a number of the tweets.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Steve in County Down wrote (88 days ago):
If internet abuse is bothering him that much he should stay off Twitter for good.
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