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Trolls will ‘get bored’ if their abuse is made less prominent – Tyrone Mings

England v Scotland – UEFA Euro 2020 – Group D – Wembley Stadium
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

England defender Tyrone Mings believes racist trolls would lose interest if the abuse they posted was filtered to be less visible.

Aston Villa centre-back Mings has discussed the issue of online abuse with West Ham forward Michail Antonio as part of ‘The Shop Talk’ series sponsored by the Professional Footballers’ Association.

Mings believes trolls target players in the hope that their account handles are shared, in order to gain notoriety.

He said: “When you filter (your social media accounts) better, and you stop people being able to see it as much, trolls will get bored – they just want to trigger you.”

Antonio suggested that an attempt to post certain words should trigger an alert which leads to social media companies immediately blocking the account in question.

“Why can you not have words that literally send an alert straight to Instagram, so you can’t physically type that word into the platform?” he asked.

“As soon as it comes up, it sends an alert and then accounts get blocked instantly. I feel like that should be the answer and that should be an easy thing to be done.”

Antonio repeated a call he first made in December 2019 for racist abuse in stadiums to be punished with points deductions.

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“At games, it should be points deducted. I don’t think fines or anything is good enough. I think points deducted is when fans start dealing with it themselves,” he said.

The football authorities in England wrote to the chief executives of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in February calling for them to act to stop their platforms becoming “havens of abuse”.

The same authorities then initiated a social media boycott over the bank holiday weekend early last month, which was joined by a variety of sporting bodies around the UK and Europe.