Thierry Henry, the former French national team striker, has said he is quitting all social media till platforms do more to stop racism and harassment. He has become the latest celebrity to scale down their online presence over abuse. In an account shared with his combined 14.8 million followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the former Arsenal player said he would withdraw himself from all social media as of Saturday. “The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture is too toxic to ignore,” he wrote, calling for greater “accountability” online.
He also added, “It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without consequence and still remain anonymous”. “Until this changes, I will be disabling my accounts across all social platforms. I’m hoping this happens soon.”
Similar to many tech giants, Twitter is under increasing analysis for facilitating torrents of insult against users, commonly from anonymous accounts, in posts that are often racist or misogynistic.
Henry, the all-time top scorer for France, has long been outspoken on the issue of racism in football and vocal about his own struggles as a high-profile black player.
Twitter announced last week that there was “there is no room for racist abuse” on its platform and that it was working to crack down on abuse against footballers.
But Henry’s choice to quit social media comes just days after another prominent user, American model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen, said she was leaving Twitter after facing abuse.