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SBD Global/January 23, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Retired British Footballer Attacks Twitter For Not Policing Abusive Tweets

Stan Collymore has asked Twitter to monitor abusive behavior.
Retired British footballer STAN COLLYMORE "has accused Twitter of not doing enough to combat illegal abuse on the network," according to James Riach of the London GUARDIAN. The accusations came during a week when he and former gymnast BETH TWEDDLE "have both been subjected to derogatory comments on the site." Collymore "has been the victim of a series of abusive tweets" since voicing his opinion last weekend that Liverpool forward LUIS SUÁREZ had dived when winning a penalty against Aston Villa in the Premier League (GUARDIAN, 1/22). In London, Ian Johnston reported Collymore "called for other high-profile users to put pressure on the social media site" and was backed by several, including journalist PIERS MORGAN and former England rugby player BRIAN MOORE. Collymore tweeted, "Police take all complaints seriously, whoever it is." He added, "I've waited 6 weeks for Twitter to provide information to police. Yet to respond" (INDEPENDENT, 1/22). The BBC reported Collymore said police forces were now "banging their heads against a brick wall" because Twitter was not "furnishing them with the information" about users they now wanted to investigate. He said he "wanted to use Twitter to debate subjects including football." Collymore: "If we disagree ... absolutely fine, but I shouldn't be racially abused for it, I shouldn't have somebody that tweets me two days ago saying, 'I'm going to turn up at your house and murder you'" (BBC, 1/22).

SKY SPORTS CONDEMNS ABUSE: In London, Riach reported in a separate piece Sky Sports condemned the "unacceptable and offensive abuse" of three-time British Olympic gymnast Tweddle during a live question and answer session on Twitter for Sky Sports News "aimed at promoting women in sport, following a series of derogatory tweets sent to the former gymnast." The broadcaster hosted an interactive session on Tuesday morning "which gave fans the opportunity to ask sport-related questions to Tweddle regarding her time as an athlete." However, the 28-year-old "soon became the victim of a number of vulgar messages, predominantly from males, completely unrelated from gymnastics." One man tweeted, "Are all sportswomen lesbians?" while another wrote, "Do you think pregnancy is a poor injury excuse and women should be able to run it off?" (GUARDIAN, 1/21).
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