Twitter Trolls – Acceptable Modern Day Abuse? Examples Of What Footballers Receive Daily
Footballers love them or hate them are used to getting abuse, whether it is from football fans at away games, journalists reviewing their recent performance or bloggers analysing their every move on social media.
Something that most people do not realise is that footballers receive hundreds of tweets per day, not just begging for something for free, a follow or a retweet but more worryingly the majority of high profile footballers receive large numbers of abusive tweets.
I am sure we have all tagged a celebrity into a tweet when they have done something or mentioned them in a tweet when they are linked to another celebrity but, what I cannot understand is when people directly abuse celebrities or in this extreme case specific footballers.
There is probably a school of thought that Footballers have thick skin but how thick can your skin be to daily abuse?
With all this in mind, I decided to dig a bit deeper and look at ten professional footballers. (Please note the tweets are open and can be queried with simple API calls)
The ten players are all at different levels in their professional careers and at very different status’ when it comes to fame and the money they earn. Something I wanted to ensure is that these players are all very much in the limelight for many different reasons.
The players include -
- Rio Ferdinand
- Wayne Rooney
- Ashley Cole
- Alex Oxlade Chamberlain
- Vincent Company
- Joey Barton
- Tom Huddlestone
- Emmanuel Adebayor
- Tom Cleverley
- Lee Cattermole
Here are a small numbers of tweets certain high profile footballers received over the last week.
@sheyiadebayor Hahaha what idiot plays for spurs haha mug
— scottshotpot (@bighotscot) August 24, 2012
— weeDy Dewey (@WeedySD) August 22, 2012
— Condescending Wonka (@Wonka6969) August 24, 2012
@joey7barton fuck u
— Chris O’Donnell (@Chris_Z_Hero) August 23, 2012
@therealac3 Hey faggot your a money hungry dog.
— mikeeeeey_ (@mklehakim) August 23, 2012
What is clear to see is that football fans are passionate about their clubs. What is also clear to everyone seeing these tweets is that they are very naive and ignorant. The majority either do not care about what footballers think or think they do not see these.
My personal opinion is that Joey Barton has done some questionable things outside of football and his actions at the end of last season did not do much for his reputation but the abuse he receives daily is incredible. As I covered in what will footballers do after social media Joey Barton has taken the right course of action and moving conversation across to his blog, challenging conversation, developing more content for his blog and taking the head potentially off his Twitter account.
The abuse Spurs forward Emmanuel Adebayor is incredible and sometimes a little mindblowing. Again when I picked Adebayor I wanted to see what type of abuse he receives and what type of fan tweets him abuse, unfortunately as an Arsenal fan it tends to be gooners. Adebayor in the past has hit back against the abuse especially people questioning his ability and how much money is or is not making.
@ali_alshakarji I left 5years ago what are you still waiting for to win???
— Emmanuel Adebayor (@Sheyiadebayor) August 19, 2012
So with just these examples does this make it right? Are Twitter trolls ok to attack players in the way they do now? What action can be taken?
In recent times, if the tweets have deemed to be racist a number of people have been charged and in more recent cases Liam Stacey was jailed for 56 days for his comments against now retired footballer Fabrice Muamba.
I think the responsibility does not just fall with the footballer to report it but for social networks to protect players from internet trolls, especially Twitter trolls such as the examples above mentioned.
What do you think? What would you do? And are you surprised?
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