Talksport bans Twitter in protest at racist taunts and death threats for Stan Collymore

Talksport has banned mentions of Twitter from its radio station and from Sport magazine until the social network takes action over ‘troll’ attacks on former footballer Stan Collymore, who is one of its presenters.

Collymore has been the sbject of a series of abusive tweets since saying last weekend that  Liverpool forward Luis Suárez had dived when winning a penalty against Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Collymore wrote: "In the last 24 hours I've been threatened with murder several times, demeaned on my race, and many of these accounts are still active. Why?

"I accuse Twitter directly of not doing enough to combat racist/homophobic/sexist hate messages, all of which are illegal in the UK.

"Several police forces have been fantastic. Twitter haven't. Dismayed."

This evening Talksport said it had written to Twitter to express its concern about its “apparent lack of support” for Collymore.

The company said that it will “stop promoting Twitter and its Twitter accounts” until it feels Twitter is “responding appropriately”. 

It said: “No Twitter mentions will appear on air on Talksport, in print in Sport Magazine or on Talksport’s digital platforms.    

Talksport called for Twitter to “pledge to cooperate fully and expediently with police whenever the company is asked for information on racist/homophobic/sexist/anti-disability/anti-semitic hate messages”.

It also asked that “Twitter acts immediately to address complaints about offensive hate messages and that these illegal tweets are deleted as soon as possible after Twitter receives a complaint."

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

“We have more than three million Twitter followers across our accounts but we will not promote these until we are satisfied that Twitter is doing its utmost to prevent abuse of this nature. We have a duty of care to all our staff and presenters and until I am satisfied that Twitter is treating this seriously we will no longer promote Twitter accounts or use tweets on-air.”

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