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Instagram users reporting racist comments directed at black England football stars after last night’s Euro 2020 defeat claim the social media site has failed to remove monkey emojis, because they ‘don’t breach the rules’.

Conscientious social media users have today launched into ‘hour-long’ mass reporting sessions in order to flag the abusive posts – directed at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka – to moderators.

But the Instagram users say they have since received messages back from the Facebook-owned site saying the posts will not be removed.

The messages from Instagram say the posts reported by the users are ‘not in breach’ of its community guidelines. 

Fans have since taken to Twitter – which today revealed it had removed 1,000 racists posts – to share their anger at Instagram’s decision.

One user, Emily May, said on Twitter: ‘I’ve spent an hour today reporting racist accounts. But according to Instagram monkey emojis and the N word are okay.’

Another said: ‘Instagram said that the banana and ape and monkey comments on Saka’s photo weren’t against community guidelines. Come get your algorithm, Instagram.’ 

Today Instagram’s owner Facebook condemned the abuse and said the site was ‘committed to keeping our community safe from abuse’.

It is understood the site takes ‘context’ into account when reviewing content containing emojis that could be ‘mundane’.

But a spokesperson told MailOnline that the emojis ‘definitely do’ breach Instagram’s guidelines when used as they have been against England’s football stars. 

Royalty, leading politicians including the Prime Minister and even the Archbishop of Canterbury slammed trolls who targeted Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho (pictured) and Bukayo Sako after last night's Euro 2020 heartbreak.

Royalty, leading politicians including the Prime Minister and even the Archbishop of Canterbury slammed trolls who targeted Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho (pictured) and Bukayo Sako after last night's Euro 2020 heartbreak.

Royalty, leading politicians including the Prime Minister and even the Archbishop of Canterbury slammed trolls who targeted Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho (pictured) and Bukayo Sako after last night’s Euro 2020 heartbreak.

Contentious social media users have today launched into 'hour-long' mass reporting sessions in order to flag the abusive posts - directed at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka - to moderators

Contentious social media users have today launched into 'hour-long' mass reporting sessions in order to flag the abusive posts - directed at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka - to moderators

Contentious social media users have today launched into ‘hour-long’ mass reporting sessions in order to flag the abusive posts – directed at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka – to moderators

What have social media sites said about racist abuse aimed at England’s players? 

Facebook – which also owns Instagram

A spokesperson for the Facebook Company told MailOnline: ‘No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram. 

‘We quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules. 

‘In addition to our work to remove this content, we encourage all players to turn on Hidden Words, a tool which means no one has to see abuse in their comments or DMs.

‘No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.’ 

Twitter

A spokesperson for the social media site said: ‘The abhorrent racist abuse directed at England players last night has absolutely no place on Twitter.

‘In the past 24 hours, through a combination of machine learning based automation and human review, we have swiftly removed over 1,000 Tweets and permanently suspended a number of accounts for violating our rules – the vast majority of which we detected ourselves proactively using technology.

‘We will continue to take action when we identify any Tweets or accounts that violate our policies.

‘We have proactively engaged and continue to collaborate with our partners across the football community to identify ways to tackle this issue collectively and will continue to play our part in curbing this unacceptable behaviour – both online and offline.’  

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Meanwhile, Times Radio journalist Kait Borsay, suggested that it may be ‘harder’ for Instagram’s reporting system to pick up the comments as easily due to them being ’emojis’ rather than written words.

Facebook accepted that its automated system may struggle to pick up these emojis, but that, if reported, such comments would be passed to one of its 35,000 moderators to review – and would be in breach of community guidelines.

A spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram. 

‘We quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules. 

‘In addition to our work to remove this content, we encourage all players to turn on Hidden Words, a tool which means no one has to see abuse in their comments or DMs.

‘No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.’ 

It comes as Twitter today revealed how it has removed more than 1,000 racist posts targeting England football stars following last night’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy at Wembley.

A spokesperson for the social media site said: ‘The abhorrent racist abuse directed at England players last night has absolutely no place on Twitter.

‘In the past 24 hours, through a combination of machine learning based automation and human review, we have swiftly removed over 1,000 Tweets and permanently suspended a number of accounts for violating our rules – the vast majority of which we detected ourselves proactively using technology.

‘We will continue to take action when we identify any Tweets or accounts that violate our policies.

‘We have proactively engaged and continue to collaborate with our partners across the football community to identify ways to tackle this issue collectively and will continue to play our part in curbing this unacceptable behaviour – both online and offline.’  

Meanwhile, social media firms were today told to get a grip on racist abuse or face punitive action in the wake of sickening abuse aimed at black England footballers.

Royalty, leading politicians including the Prime Minister and even the Archbishop of Canterbury slammed trolls who targeted stars such as Rashford,  Sancho and Saka after last night’s Euro 2020 heartbreak.

Police are now investigating but social media firsts have come under presser to take swifter and more decisive action against offenders.  

Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said: ‘The racist abuse of England players online is repellent and vile.

Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said: 'The Government needs to get on with legislating the tech giants'

Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said: 'The Government needs to get on with legislating the tech giants'

Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said: ‘The Government needs to get on with legislating the tech giants’

‘Perpetrators should be getting a knock on the door from the police and facing the full force of the law.

‘Social media companies once alerted to this abuse have an acute responsibility to immediately take it down.

‘The Government needs to get on with legislating the tech giants. Enough of the foot dragging, all those who suffer at the hand of racists, not just England players, deserve better protections now.’  

Boris Johnson said he felt ‘sad and rueful’ this morning, but thanked Gareth Southgate and the England team for ‘lifting our spirits and bringing joy to our country’.

And he took a strong line in condemning the racist online trolls, saying: ‘Shame on you – I hope you crawl back under the stone from which you emerged.’

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said this morning that he shared the anger at the abuse, adding: ‘Social media companies need to up their game in addressing it and, if they fail to, our new Online Safety Bill will hold them to account with fines of up to 10 per cent of global revenue.’

The Bill will put a new legal duty of care on online companies to protect their UK users from harm, including people receiving abusive comments, threats and harassment online.

However, it has also faced criticism over fears that it risks stifling the free press, ‘silencing marginalised voices’ and introducing ‘state-backed censorship on a scale never seen in a liberal democracy’.

A mural honouring England star Marcus Rashford was vandalised less than an hour after last night's Euro 2020 final defeat

A mural honouring England star Marcus Rashford was vandalised less than an hour after last night's Euro 2020 final defeat

A mural honouring England star Marcus Rashford was vandalised less than an hour after last night’s Euro 2020 final defeat

Marcus Rashford puts his face in his hands after missing his penalty by striking the post

Marcus Rashford puts his face in his hands after missing his penalty by striking the post

Jadon Sancho puts his head in his hands after he failed to score in the penalty shoot out in tonight's Euro 2020 final

Jadon Sancho puts his head in his hands after he failed to score in the penalty shoot out in tonight's Euro 2020 final

Marcus Rashford, left, and Jadon Sancho have their heads in their hands after missing their kicks

One user wrote under the latest Instagram picture of Saka (pictured), 19: 'Go back to Nigeria.' While another said: 'Get out my country'

One user wrote under the latest Instagram picture of Saka (pictured), 19: 'Go back to Nigeria.' While another said: 'Get out my country'

One user wrote under the latest Instagram picture of Saka (pictured), 19: ‘Go back to Nigeria.’ While another said: ‘Get out my country’

England's Kalvin Phillips embraces a member of the England staff as the team prepare to head to their homes after a month in their team bubble

England's Kalvin Phillips embraces a member of the England staff as the team prepare to head to their homes after a month in their team bubble

England's Mason Mount leaves the Grove Hotel

England's Mason Mount leaves the Grove Hotel

England’s Kalvin Phillips embraces a member of the England staff and Mason Mount waves as the team prepare to head to their homes after a month in their team bubble 

Campaigners warned that in its draft form it could also be used to target wider freedom of expression including from the media – and could even result in blanket bans for publishers. 

Ofcom will be in charge of regulating social media firms, with the power to issue fines up to £18million and block access for repeat offences.

The aim is to make Britain one of the safest places to be online in the world – especially for children.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said this afternoon social media companies ‘can no longer ignore’ racist and vile abuse on their platforms.

She told the Commons: ‘Social media companies, in particular, have a clear responsibility for the content that they host on their platforms and they can no longer ignore some of the appalling, vile, racist, violent and hateful content that appears on their platforms.’ 

Source: Daily Mail UK

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