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Read this: Why can't social media companies stop online abuse?

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Why can't social media companies stop on…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts torrents of racial abuse England footballers faced on social media following that penalty shootout you might Wonder Why any footballer would want to use social media at all do the benefits like direct access to fans the ability to tell your own unedited story still out weighed the horrifying negative and what about those platforms themselves? Why can't they quash the more effectively? It's just another example of broader issues around the power and accountability of social media giants and dance the subject of a behind-the-scenes Jose of Facebook by to New York Times journalist his book is published this week will let me introduce you to our guests and firstly to New York and to share Franco

Your book and the Ugly Truth which means I guess that you're not Secretary of the mark 6 fan club.

I wonder what Facebook then makes of you have they been in touch with directly about what they think the book in the week's leading up to the publication of the book Facebook was in touch with multiple times a day with dozens of times a day.

They made it very clear that they objected to many things in a butcher's interesting because we've gone to a 4-month back checking process with them in which we had gone over every detail and every scene and every chance to respond, but it was only when the book was actually printed in about the show was busy.

Just realise that this was going to be hitting the public soon and that it was gonna I think there's a lot of concerns the company has been run with him more about that later and celiac on the cover of your book actually has a list of apologies from Facebook in a things like we never meant to upset you.

Better, what does it go apologising for apologising for a history of mistakes in scandals and promises you better and we will power of those quotes in the back of the book.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry from Sheryl sandberg.

Really actually give readers a sense of what would be in the book which is a very powerful patter of mistake apology Promised You Better Watch Winston repeat that cycle over and over again in that really is one of the most powerful things that we took away from a recording of this kind of pattern for the powerful company more about that later on and also with us today or 3 sports journalists, Henry winter is Chief writer for The Times Henry Tyrone mings used social media to criticize their home secretary Priti Patel hickey service stoking the fire of racism and secured.

Quoted that social media post and prime Minister's Questions I wonder if that means that you find that you are fighting to keep political journalist off your turf at the moment well not really I think if you look at the cover certainly from the the print media with being echoing the sentiments of the the supporters and the and the players in particular you mention Tyrone mings and the way he put away Priti Patel with his very succinct message to her when she had a go earlier in the earlier in the tournament about players at gesture politics by taking any I think what you saw with the racist abuse of the three black players who missed penalties shows why players will take me and it also particularly with Tyrone me some I've interviewed and on this subject so very eloquent intelligence individual and it was Tyrone mings who won his England debut in Bulgaria was racially abusing his family who travelled out to see that problem to see their son latest debut and he was racially abused.

So he is very aware of the races issues in this country and in other countries are far more than many politicians my workout quadri is freelance football writer and broadcaster.

He's also editorial officer at vs.

Which describes itself as a platform championing the future of football have the backing of a major newspaper like the times for example so imagine that you don't get the same access to top players or do you and I wonder if I helpful footballers social media profiles are to you? We do we do to extend.

I think ultimately that has come because of social media right.

I feel a lot more footballers on to be control of the notes of themselves and tell authentic stories.

I mean print does an amazing job, but of course broadcaster traditionally focused on the result and the matter facts of the game where as new media can focus on.

Societal issues personal habits and things that footballers really want to talk about sofa instance someone that crash for jadon, Sancho with these young footballers who are really in touch with them come from platform that vs enables down to speak about that my daughter is investigations writer for the Atlantic covering football.

Sorry for athletic rather not Atlantic athletic covering football and you've been investigating social media in football for quite a long time now and obviously online racism towards sportspeople is you but can you give us an idea of the scale of the abuse of social media messages and comments they were aimed at England footballers this week as soon as 03 black players Mr penalties on Sunday night.

They were inundated with the Motorola kind of abuse.

You know things like a monkey emoji stand under the ways of people get around.

Buy used certain slow words that the social media filters will pick them out.

Where as emojis as may be harder.

They are people do things like direct messages on Instagram which are harder to filter and sort of common feed you I did a story few months ago about fantasy Premier League no gain a lot of people enjoy you pick your favourite players and you went to this little girls and stuff.

We found thousands of accounts with like you know the names of the most depraved stuck.

Just everywhere and every time I said this I'd say we going to do more but it's never quite enough and I never you know it continues and somebody quite unidark in human nature that makes people want to do that after these players who were here.

I saw a brave who played brilliantly that country you know someone like soccer who was fantastic tournament shouting abuse awful and whenever social media sites to is never quite enough and in a shower and see you're probably have to be more to this but in my eyes what they need to do is spend money on human moderators because

Automatic algorithms are not working and it's just extremely deep pockets and pay more people to do better at this.

That's expensive solution ring that you were actually expecting anticipating when events unfolded and Sunday night first dawned on me probably before this.

It was the final I just want to myself and it's something that people just come to expect I think this situation in particular was even Huyton because it's the first major fan of England in 55 years.

You've got loads going to watch the game because you've not had this moment before I personally had to message Friends after the first penny is Nissan Nissan please just leave now because I don't know what's going to happen here and we saw reports.

Some of the incidents that will happen in across the country which was just an excuse the boy's completely wrong so miss that feeling it's not a new freedom.

You know ultimately you know for sure of what they want to achieve their going to be ratio using it just makes me almost laugh because imaginist one of those panties the same been celebrating and we would have never known what will never know but it would have been completely head and just been split moment you can see the reality Cecilia your day job.

Is there taken regulation correspondent for the New York Times and I just wondered that the prime minister is here in the UK today has said fans that post racial abuse going to be banned from matches.

I wonder is that going to be enough with it not be a better option to prevent racial abuse been posted in the first.

I wonder if it does it wasn't quite simple.

I mean it seems to me that you could stop you know these platforms posting this kind of abuse because in a footballers are obviously verified and if there has got their name and it wouldn't get through what's stopping Facebook and the rest of them doing that is it their principles are on free speech or have I oversimplified the technicalities of moderation? Yeah, I'm definitely there's a very strong free speech bent.

It's also very convenient bent for Facebook business model and we covered that part of it and reporting that a lot of decisions were focused on growth and growth of the business and growth of revenues and profits and the one that said it should not have been surprised to see this sort of that were thrown out during the game and afterwards but time and time again, but Facebook is known is that they don't look at 9 just around the corner.

One of them, they are focused on a difference between metric free speeches absolutely important thing that's difficult for the US government to regulate governments around the world but also I think it's the way that Facebook is about moderating your content is also fill the holes.

There's a lot of problems in that they will rely heavily on reports of users each other to the constantly pain catch up with you have 3 billion and you're never going to be able to surprise the man of the man of misinformation the metal harmful content services and courses it is always a step not just behind in terms of catching up, but it's always after the fact so the racial epithets are already already said they're already spreading amplified which is really important by Facebook so there's no problem even the structure and the approach by which they go about marine content.

Add one thing to what you said which is that as one of your previous was talking I found myself nodding about it was shaking my head because this tactic of using emojis using use emoticons as a wave of beading hits moderators Street we have an entire chapter in our book of my anymore and how in that country Facebook was told over and over and over again, but just by using you know they're all emojis and gifts people that Facebook said it was going to try and push to prevent you know we'll sort of the streets and despite knowing that this is happening to me knowing that emojis and whatnot invented on-the-fly each time to try and Patrick hates this channel cannot seem to get on it.

I just I have a statement here from Facebook who own Instagram they've told us no one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere.

We don't want it on Instagram that we quickly remove comments and accounts directing abuse of England footballers on Sunday and will continue to take action against those who break our rules following on from this wanted to ask you why footballer would want to be on social media.

Can you explain to us the upside for them as many as you just you don't have to look over then Marcus rashford.

This is someone who single-handedly with you though.

He's community online managed to galvanise the nation that there was a massive issue with food poverty in the country.

I need to speak to his fans by social media could be Direct you can look at other footballers who are enabled Jordan Henderson in terms of his work for NHS and everything he speaks about he's been able to because you can use social media.

There's been times when he's not been playing because he's injured and he's left his Instagram handle two Communities that need that sort of publicity so there are many benefits.

Back I mentioned earlier just had a broadcast on motorway, your narrative was really based on.

What was out with your social media you can control that you look at someone that Cristiano Ronaldo complete different example.

He's got millions and millions and millions of social media fireworks there for his is one of the greatest footballers ever, but he's value is much more than just complain so that brings him personal well, so there's so many different reasons why you would want to have social media presence of course used in situations where because of what we're talking about footballers have away from social media because they Force myself.

Why would I be so open and accessible if I'm going to be abused prime example is Thierry Henry few steps away from it.


Could you said until something is done about the forms? I want Beyond but there are definitely benefits, but I'm very think there is a negative sad and this negative said that keeps popping up it just confuses me because it's it's almost received.

You not saying there's anything that's that can be done.


Just really really confuses me we see all the time when you know post at the moment notification will come up straight away and I'm not compared to situations, but we've seen that they've put things into place to make sure that they can instantly react to stop why is that not the case for other situations and then especially when the most recent situation about the monkey emoji come out and say you don't do that as racism.

It's on this about completely forgotten that there's a human in a imagine.

How many black person read feels that's not spoken about enough Henry yeah.

I mean you're online safety bill came in in March certainly the draught of it and if you look through it a minute.

It's not about online abuse that there are elements to the one of the key things in it which if it comes onto the statute books you know the government can fine.

Annual global turnover and more specifically they have indicated all the Dad that the same as indicated but senior manager senior exec soft Twitter Instagram Facebook could be could be for allowing hate crimes to go on on the extra debate hear about whether they are platform to wear their publishers if they are they are deemed as publishers, then they should absolutely be charged if someone says what what Marcus rashford the car is soccer and Jane such as if they said that on the street and the police let me put away it's ok.

I just got it back to the point about the other things that get set on social media which the protector on a very quick at taking down if a football fan that the game on Sunday at a picture of bukayo Saka for taking off the television or the game and then posted on social media Twitter would have taken up down within seconds so this.

Feeling that there is a feeling particularly monster players that they're not acting quickly, but they also use social media and they do see that there's an upside to at you know thanks a lot of a lot of newspapers wouldn't for example have I've written an awful.

Lot about footballers charity, where has actually now we can see that they can they can Direct use social media to talk about that one of the good things about the footballers charities and foundations me at the time so before the Telegraph independent.

I've been covering a 4 years.

Is that you actually get the player to open up so if you go along that when is Jordan Henderson's doing one of his first together is so NHS programs.

You go and talk to him.

You know the start of lockdown are called Marcus rashford and he was at home reading about how could get enough trucks to take food around to feed to feed the kids and then you you know there's a relationship therebetween.

I'm gonna work as much as social media as in sewing prince of digital the players are very cute on that the play something after the match.

I got a couple of messages from Claire's who was slightly wired imperative that was playing out of television a particular moaning about them about what happened during the game so don't think that the two sides something know this other print digital social media that I work in and the place don't work together on these they would be players actually asked you you don't do you think this tweet will play out in a should I say something on social media but this do they do they do that I've suggested they just say how will this play out I'm going to have a certain social media following very much football related and they will absolutely do that they also they see that the flip side the positive side of social media for them in their campaign but also lets.

Commercial I mean in when he did his deal go from Arsenal to fenerbahce there were certain clauses in his deal where he was he was able to retweet summer fellow batches tweets as well.

I think I don't know I think it's about a week so interest M&S sponsors and their clubs Daniel you've written tweets for players.

So do you think that they often written by journalists by PR and it's maybe when it's one of them individually players have individually come onto on a DMR saying.

What do you think about this and I had one that one in the last.

It's not that common, but it makes sense if they are wanting to know the field because this is the world we live in there.

Isn't going to talk to solve Academy kids about this.

There's no.

Between you pressing send on your iPhone and my back page.

So you know you would because we take the news quietly and also because they're so much support for the players and I've never known such a close Bond between the press box and the players and we would be with these players.

Will it be used all over you and we know that these players at some point disgusted with the racist abuse this racist abuse on social media, but it's been going on for 30-40 years in football alone.

I think that's what's the alarm input remember probably a few years ago where the conversation was each incident was an isolated incident and always question that phrase that what what do you mean? It's isolated with no I've seen kickitout stats increase year on year and then the sort of description of it was racism has come back it never left.

It's just that social medias coming work.

And we can talk about politics and everything that's going on but that does fuel this sort of enabling or people saying that you know what I can talk like that is well and you get this increase my next appointment as it brings us on to this idea that we've tapped into that there's an inherent contradiction in social media.

It does connect us all and it can be used as a powerful force for good but then at the same time by connecting a store that can spread abuse and disinformation.

Wish you were Franco and Cecelia can have been investigating Facebook for years at the New York Times and there's no written the book The Ugly Truth inside Facebook battle for domination.

I was fascinated by the access that you must have had to Facebook employees and back you know you said the book and he spoke to about 400 of them you write a bit high so many of them have non-disclosure agreements and we know about that you said that they someone they were putting their careers at risk.

Fearing reprisals and you've managed to give us a list of a ringside seat on a lot of the biggest crisis in Facebook of the past 5-years and no they have been quite a few why why do people speak to you? I mean I wonder if you're a New York Times journalist and you pick up the phone you say hi Facebook executive you want to chat that they were how did you do it? I think I want to see change their unhappy with what they seem to not unhappy with the company or say but there are happy unhappy with the decision made by the top leader is Mark Zuckerberg you know a lot of people who talk to us early the Willing and volunteering to talk to us.

We had going but many many does people especially over 2020 where there was just so much to malt and a head of the US election.

Seeing really test the sight test policies cross many lines not ASDA policies, but in Essex It's A Change is interesting Facebook has this right now and in her statement.

They're saying bed.

What are the people who spoke to the office and they're mad or they're fired and it's not true many people are there still people are still there.

They want to see change.

They are there speaking to us not because they're angry or if you like they've been or they been demoted or anything.

It's because they feel like that some by speaking to us.

It's only way that can be pulled back behind company that is so incredibly powerful most ubiquitous communications turn the world that affects you know what this topic today sports around the world you know.

And people have so many countries 3 billion people and 3.4 billion across Oliver's apps, which include what's happened Instagram and they want to make sure that this tool is is used using away.

That's healthy and safe for people around the world in democracy.

Your books likes loads of examples.

I just want to pick up on one briefly time is against us little bit here, but you talk about the 6th of of January the storming of the capital just tell us what Facebook new when about what was happening that day.

You know the day after the vote in the United States people started on Facebook groups called stop the steel with her telling Americans of the election have been stolen Donald Trump Facebook watched from their offices as those groups became some of the most viral and discovering groups in Facebook history, so they may have had real Power and in the monthly.

Does that became one more extreme the day before the January 6th riots happened journalists including myself sent them emails with photographs of assault rifles that were being posted.

Are you going to take these groups sound people are posting photos of guns and saying that there Marching On Washington what is your plan here and that's you know what I think that people are going to be shocked to find that there was no reacted when things happen to you.

You write in the book that and that's executive considered getting WhatsApp about to get in touch with Don trump, but they didn't why not ultimately be worried.

That was going to speak to the person as it's just heard many things did in 2020 as the boy is became and happy with the leadership decision and the vaults of Mark Zuckerberg called trump to be seen as in what time it is a rather than have that happened.

They advocated against him calling we do have a quote from.

A Facebook spokesman who said that I teamwear vigilant and removing content that violated our policies against inciting violence leading up to January 6th we were prepared for this and have been more aggressive than any other internet in combating harmful content we band hundreds of miniaturized social movements and took them down tens of thousands of cute and on Pages groups and accounts from our app Cecilia after the riots President Trump was banned by Facebook but how did the company come to that decision president of course this was a whole 4 years of trump testing the site in another policies before I decided to not actually permanently being him give him essentially a time out for two week you cannot be on the side and let's take this final decision to where they created which is a Facebook oversight morning.

Body body that makes decisions on contents decisions and content moderation and the that they were essentially kicking the can down the road.

They were observed to make a really tough a political decision interestingly after that 2 months later the Facebook oversight board kick that decision back to Facebook it was very smart the Facebook you can possibly expect us to make a final call on President Trump when you don't even have policies written, please.

You don't have a vase I can turn on rules and how you deal with the figure that up first and then make your decision is what they said so it's back on Facebook there's a feeling here as a recurring theme in Silicon Valley when we had Steve Hoffman at the boss of Reading earlier this year.

He didn't want to make editorial decisions himself.

It seems that you're saying Facebook that has a similar policy if techjoint don't want to do this who should

Don't want to do it.

It's not good business sense for them to have to make editorial decisions.

It's much easier to take an approach that they the platform should be regulated by the government to come up with regulation because no unfortunately that most governments across the world are not think about regulation if the government creates war that Facebook you have universe Pacific type of speech time apart from that other specific category that gives Facebook that has two tier 2 and there's enough to make the difficult stations on its own.

You know what that was struck by earlier when you're reading this book the one in response to what happened to your football matches with it was to what we catalogue on the back of the book The apologies that Facebook has been making them over a decade it is still making it.

Thank you so much indeed.

We could talk a lot longer, but will have to leave it there Shearer Franco and Cecelia Khan from the New York Times Joey dorso from

Athletic at mitochondria and Henry winter from the time.

Thank you.

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