Arteta – Social media abuse “has to be eradicated”

There has been much discussion lately about racial abuse towards footballers on social media, and even the great Arsenal legend Ian Wright has spoken out this week about the lack of punishment for abusers, even when the perpetrator was taken to court.

Mikel Arteta has made it clear that the victims of the abuse can be seriously affected mentally, as Arsenal fans have even been guilty of towards Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi in the past, and the Iceland international Alex Runarsson had to delete his Twitter acount just a few weeks ago after he was attacked by Arsenal fans after the Man City cup game.

Arteta made his stance clear when he told Arsenal.com in his press conference: “There are all types of different abuses and I think it has to be eradicated completely. I think social media has a big responsibility on that, because then you talk about the mental health of the players and the public and how exposed they are.

“I am all open and I’m for people to have their opinions, but not just to be insulting people, abusing people and using a screen on somebody’s mobile phone to tell them whatever you want, to a person that you don’t even know. That for me has to be eradicated, because it is causing a lot of damage in football and a lot of damage to public people. So I think we have to be really strong on that and I think you guys [the media] as well have a big part to play to support us and the industry here.”

It is certainly not going to be easy to eradicate, unless you have hundreds of monitors working 24 hours a day to weed out the guilty parties, but I’m sure if there were more people getting charged and punished, then others would very quickly get the message.

How do you think is the best way we could eradicate all types of abuse on social media?

Tags Arteta media

8 Comments

  1. durand says:

    I think it is a problem when you try to censor free speech. If it’s speech everyone agrees with, it doesn’t need to be protected; it’s the speech that you disagree with that needs to be free and uncensored.

    Some speech is revolting, disgusting, and deplorable, but people should be free to say it.

    I’m sure many will disagree with me on this topic, that’s fine, we will just agree to disagree.

    Any infringement on rights is too much. Where does it stop? Who exactly decides what is “acceptable” and unacceptable?” Should we have thought police next?

    Racism is a context that is often discussed as it should be. My personal opinion is that I want to hear them say these things, so people know who they are, how ignorant they are, and how they can be exposed through free speech and debate.

    Otherwise, bigots, haters, and others will regress to the shadows; become harder to identify and will only fester.

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and exposure is the best way to defeat ignorance.

    1. jon fox says:

      What a wise and astute post Durand. I see Ken has already replied . He and I have polar opposite views on what constitutes free speech. Free speech is long and hard won and not available in many parts of our globe, so wherever it IS available, it is important to use it and cherish it.

      KEN and I have fallen out over this principle, which we both hold dear but see in different ways in practice.

      RACISM THOUGH IS SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT. Racism is a criminal act designed specifically to harm the recipient and as a criminal act, should and must be prosecuted.
      It is illiberal for a sort of “group think” to attempt to bully some into being silent and not speak their mind.
      MANY CONFUSE LIBERALISM WITH ILLIBERALISM, WRONGLY OF COURSE.
      True liberals understand how vital freedom , under the rule of law is, in a civilised society. It is a shame that some, even older folk, get what IS free speech, so badly wrong!

    2. Davi says:

      Thoroughly agree with you. Wish more people would say this. It’s very worrying to me, the level to which people seem happy to let the government/police dictate what people can say – allow them that power and they will narrow acceptable speech and thought more and more.
      Racism is obviously a terrible thing but ultimately I agree with you that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Censorship (and legal punishment as well actually) can have the opposite effect by pushing people out of normal society and into groups, which is dangerous.

  2. ken1945 says:

    I’m so pleased to see that Mikel Arteta has the same views as me with regards to abuse and insulting people being the same thing.

    I agree with Durand that we find out exactly what makes a person, when we hear / read / see what said individual believes is acceptable and Mikel couldn’t have put it better in my opinion.

    However, I fail to understand what gives these abusers the right to think they can say whatever they like and believe their rhetoric should have no consequences.

    It seems to me, anyway, that these louts / morons are always loud and brave when in a group or behind a keyboard, but become as quite as a dormouse or try to bluster their way out, when confronted on a one to one basis.

    I really do believe that if anyone started this kind of abuse at one of our games, the club and fans would turn on them immediately…such are the strides made in this area by the two factions I mention.

    That is one of the reasons I support this great club of ours and the like minded fans I mingle with on match days…doing it The Arsenal Way!!!

  3. RSH says:

    It’s on social media companies to do something and is above what clubs can do unfortunately. Unless Twitter makes you register your account under your legal name, people will continue to use anonimity to be racist/sexist etc. These losers quickly go quiet when they can’t hide behind a username and risk having their bosses see how disgusting they are. Internet anonimity is a doubleedged sword tho and it’s hard to say whether it is an entirely good thing for Twitter to adopt a new policy like this. The internet can be a really wonderful place and amazing how ppl all around the world can connect. The downside is very unfortunate though and I can’t say I’m for complete anonimity on the internet being gone just because people can’t stop being awful. Tricky situation. Currently, we need players, owners, FA, to take a stand and shame these people and if anyone if found to be abusing, ban them from any game in the country.

  4. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

    To say the least, any debate that attempts to deal with the highly contentious issue of “freedom of speech” is fraught with a myriad of pitfalls…at no time in human history have so many individuals been given a platform that has the potential to reach so many…as such it’s vitally important that we reiterate the logical merits of the “social contract” that, through common sensical means, still provides a viable framework for human interaction, even in a largely transient world where diversity has become so predominant

    as a Benthamite, I’ve always believed in the notion of the greatest good for the greatest many, which clearly respects the freedoms of the individual, so long as it doesn’t impair the rights of others to enjoy the same privileges…while some have suggested that there should be no considerations taken for the rights of others when it comes to an individual’s freedom of speech, that simply doesn’t make realistic sense as it has a tendency to reduce issues of great pertinence into a futile contest based on who yells louder or who has the greatest numbers or, even worse, who can physically impose their individual will on others

    so although I do believe that there is some inherent value in allowing, or in fact encouraging, everyone to express their own personal beliefs, so that you, as the listener, might learn something that you might not have otherwise, I do think that this sort of placating to the lowest common denominator unfairly protects the rights of the few over the many…the fact is that someone who is willing to make racial motivated statements in a public venue or forum is highly unlikely to be the kind of individual who has managed to mask such feelings up until the very moment that the outburst in question took place, so to even contemplate the possibility of providing more societal protection for this sort of miscreant over those who hold a view that reflects the “greater good”, seems problematic and counter-intuitive

    that said, when it comes to any statements that aren’t racist, homophobic, intentionally threatening or illegal in nature, they should be dealt with in a categorically different manner…as a public figure, especially those who use their social media platform for personal gain, one must simply accept that you will likely face some negative feedback along the way…at that point you have the choice to not subject yourself to such comments, by simply not reading them or by eliminating your online presence…if you choose otherwise, you’re fair game for any future comments/criticisms…likewise, the person making the comments must accept that they too might be subjected to similar comments from other random individuals and/or the subject of your comments…in fact, the player involved should face no ramifications if he or she chooses to reply in kind…ultimately, most of the time such comments provide fleeting moments of humour, confusion, disgust or indifference and should be treated as such, so long as they don’t rise to the aforementioned unacceptable levels

  5. Chapo says:

    I’ll relate my thoughts directly to the post. You may like what you are about to read or not, its totally non of my business.

    This generation has become so hyper sensitive that we tend to cry over every little thing, its very irritating. Someone from no where you don’t even know tells you f*ck off online and the next thing you claim is that he just spoilt your day and mood. Damn all these. Divas generation.

    As for Arteta, he might be a good coach but as for the kind of person he is? I see him as a dictator, you don’t need to be a politician or ruler before you display totalitarian traits. Anyone who is in support of censoring or controlling what people say is definitely against “Freedom of Speech”. As a coach Arteta has my support but as for this total rubbish he said about censoring freedom of speech, I am against it. Totally against the crap he just coughed out.

    What we have now is no longer “freedom of speech” but “generally acceptable statements”. Instead of trying to control and censor freedom of speech, I think we need to start by training ourselves, our children and society at large on how not to give a second thought to online abuse. For God’s sake if you can’t take a hit online then do like Runar, leave the social media platform. We no longer act like men but kids, even men aged 70 and are claiming to be victims of online abuse….. SMH…. what a mess…. Divas generation.I’ll relate my thoughts directly to the post. You may like what you are about to read or not, its totally non of my business.

    This generation has become so hyper sensitive that we tend to cry over every little thing, its very irritating. Someone from no where you don’t even know tells you f*ck off online and the next thing you claim is that he just spoilt your day and mood. Damn all these. Divas generation.

    As for Arteta, he might be a good coach but as for the kind of person he is? I see him as a dictator, you don’t need to be a politician or ruler before you display totalitarian traits. Anyone who is in support of censoring or controlling what people say is definitely against “Freedom of Speech”. As a coach Arteta has my support but as for this total rubbish he said about censoring freedom of speech, I am against it. Totally against the crap he just coughed out.

    What we have now is no longer “freedom of speech” but “generally acceptable statements”. Instead of trying to control and censor freedom of speech, I think we need to start by training ourselves, our children and society at large on how not to give a second thought to online abuse. For God’s sake if you can’t take a hit online then do like Runar, leave the social media platform. We no longer act like men but kids, even men aged 70 and above are claiming to be victims of online abuse….. SMH…. what a mess…. Divas generation.

    1. Davi says:

      It’s not just hypersensitivity, people use “victimhood” as a weapon (knowingly or unknowingly) to get what they want.

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