Bruce: Social media can damage people, I would ban it
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce says he would ban all social media if he could, and gave his backing to the clubs boycotting platforms over racist abuse.
Swansea have said they will not post on their usual club channels for a week and have encouraged players to do the same, with Rangers and Birmingham following their lead.
All three clubs feel that not enough is being done by social media companies to identify and sanction those who post abusive messages.
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The clubs are following the lead of former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry. The 43-year-old announced he was disabling his online accounts in protest over rising levels of racism, bullying, and discrimination on social media platforms.
Henry said he had “had enough of talking” about racist abuse, following his decision to come off social media.
Bruce doesn’t have any social media accounts himself. However, he revealed to TalkSPORT in February that he had received death threats sent to his son Alex Bruce’s account.
And he was keen to throw his weight behind the three clubs, describing social media as a “scourge” that had the potential to “damage people”.
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“If you’re a little bit fragile, then it can damage people,” he said.
“Ban the whole lot as far as I’m concerned. No social media, for me, would be the way forward and I’m right behind (the clubs who are boycotting it).
“But I do think in all seriousness that the platforms which they’re given, they should be policed and a bit like your telephone, you’re accountable for what you do and what messages you send out there because some of it – and I’ve seen it – is vile, I have to tell you, so I applaud those clubs.”
Bruce’s sentiments have been echoed by Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.
The Blues have seen a number of players open up about the effects of online abuse racist abuse, including Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
And Tuchel said social media “opens the door” to allow abuse to take place, and called for greater accountability online.
“Social media gives people a huge, huge stage to give comments without a name behind it, without an identity, address behind it,” the German said.
“So it opens the door to abuse, opens the door also to positive comments of course.”