Sir Mo Farah, Britain’s most successful Olympic track athlete, claims he has received “awful abuse” on social media and believes racists should be publicly chastised for their online behavior.
The quadruple Olympic gold medalist claims that internet trolls have frequently advised him to “go home,” and that the problem is becoming worse.
He told the BBC that now is the time for big tech companies like Twitter and Instagram to do more to stem the stream of abuse.
Sir Mo Farah is one of Britain’s best sportsmen, but he has been targeted by racists online. ‘It appears to be growing worse in my honest opinion since there was never as much social media back in my time, shall we say.’
I’ve had some terrible ones, when I’ve said things like, ‘You don’t belong here.’
I’ve had a lot of it.
When asked if he’s ever had anyone tell him to “go back home,” he said, “I’ve had that before, absolutely.”
‘This is my home,’ he continued.
‘I’ve always considered it.’
Farah was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and lived in Djibouti as a refugee after his family escaped the war-torn nation. At the age of eight, he came to London, where he developed his passion and ability for running.
As England footballers Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford suffered horrific racial abuse online after losing on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, he spoke out.
Farah earned four Olympic gold medals, six World Championship gold medals, and numerous world records. When the trio missed their spot kicks, they were instantly ridiculed on social media.
During the four-week event, England’s 26-man squad has received a barrage of rude and racist texts, according to reports.
Crisp, an analytics firm, calculated that 12,500 abusive messages were sent to the players’ accounts from 10,000 accounts.
The nation has been stunned by the prejudice directed towards penalty takers following a tremendously successful tournament, albeit one that ended in disappointment, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging on social media companies to “raise their game and deal with the racist trolls.”
Bukayo Saka, 19, was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager, who missed a penalty as a player in the Euro 1996 semi-finals. Amid online criticism, one user said, ‘Foreigners are stupid,’ evidently choosing to ignore the fact that Saka was born in Ealing, west London. Farah developed his passion for running in Britain, growing up in Hounslow and becoming one of the most successful athletes in the world.
He won Olympic gold medals in both the 5000 and 10,000 meters in 2012 and 2016, as well as six World Championship golds and a slew of other victories and records.
He agrees that more has to be done to protect people online, citing the ineffectiveness of present reporting channels.
He believes it is past time for people to verify their accounts so that they can be held accountable in front of the public if they abuse others.
He stated, “The social media businesses need to do a lot more.”
‘They must be held accountable for what individuals do.’
‘Even myself, I’ve had some terrible ones, where people read the message and I’ve gone delete, block, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report, report
‘With today’s technology, as soon as words are spoken, they should automatically freeze, allowing the government to see what they can do.’
‘How can we make it even worse for these folks,’ Farah said of the abuse he experienced.
So, when you join up, you provide your passport information, your driver’s license information, and your address, and you’re automatically registered.
‘These people have jobs and families to support.
Their company should be aware of what they have been up to, as they may be pretty high up in their jobs.
Let us disgrace them in any manner we can.
Following the Three Lions’ defeat to Italy, the UK Football Policing Unit (UKFPU) issued an update on its investigation into abusive postings directed at Rashford, Sancho, and Saka.
Plasterer Brad Pretty, 49, from Folkestone, Kent; estate agent Andrew Bone, 37, from Sale, Cheshire; and children’s football coach Nick Scott, 50, from Powick, Worcestershire, have all been officially recognized.
A fourth suspect, a 37-year-old guy from Greater Manchester’s Ashton-upon-Mersey, was apprehended yesterday, officials said, before a fifth, a 42-year-old man from Runcorn, was apprehended today in Cheshire.
‘The FA strongly condemns all kinds of discrimination and is outraged by the online hatred directed towards some of our England players on social media,’ an FA spokeswoman said. However, after England’s Euro 2020 final penalty shootout, social media companies have given over personal information of people suspected of sharing racist statements online.
After five people were detained in the aftermath of Sunday’s final, Twitter and Facebook have been ‘working very closely’ with investigative police officers, who say they are looking into scores of people’s racist messages.
According to the New York Times, if authorities request information, the tech giants will reveal the names, emails, and IP addresses of individuals who are suspected of sending discriminatory remarks.