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Twitter says Euro 2020 Final racists were not anonymous and mostly from the UK

Twitter has said almost all of the accounts suspended for racist posts during Euro 2020 were identifiable, contrary to the widely-held belief abusers hide behind anonymity.

In an analysis of racist abuse on the platform following the Euros, Twitter UK said 99% of permanently suspended users during the tournament were those whose true identity could be discovered.

As a result, Twitter believes the controversial calls to introduce ID verification for social media would have little impact on preventing the racist abuse received by England stars following the Euro 2020 Final defeat.

“While we have always welcomed the opportunity to hear ideas from partners on what will help, including from within the football community, our data suggests that ID verification would have been unlikely to prevent the abuse from happening – as the accounts we suspended themselves were not anonymous,” Twitter says in the blog post.

The company also said that, although the racist abuse appeared to be widespread following the final, the visibility of the content was limited. The social network said only 2% of removed tweets gained over 1,000 impressions.

1,961 Tweets were removed proactively in the 48 hours following the final, 90% of which were deleted by Twitter proactively. However, Twitter admits it has more work to do on detecting and and removing the offending content before it picks up any traction.

Unfortunately, for those suggesting much of the racist abuse – received by penalty missers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka following the final – could have been from global users, Twitter has said that is decidedly not the case. It overwhelmingly came from purported England supporters.

“Given the international nature of the Euro 2020 Final, it was no surprise to see that the Tweets we removed came from all over the world,” Twitter writes. “However, while many have quite rightly highlighted the global nature of the conversation, it is also important to acknowledge that the UK was – by far – the largest country of origin for the abusive Tweets we removed on the night of the Final and in the days that followed.”

In somewhat less depressing news, Twitter pointed out the word “proud” was tweeted more on the Monday after the final than it was at any point in 2021. We’re not sure that’s going to be of much comfort to those players (or anyone else) continually subjected to racist abuse on Twitter.

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