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Thierry Henry has confirmed he will remove himself from social media until the people in power regulate their platforms to combat online abuse.
The former Juventus, Arsenal and Barcelona striker is believed to be the first high profile sporting figure to publicly announce they are stepping away from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In an official statement, Henry says until racism and bullying is treated with the same seriousness as copyright infringement, he will continue to disable his accounts across all platforms.
He posted the following on social media to his millions of followers on Friday morning.
"Hi Guys. From tomorrow morning I will be removing myself from social media until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright.
"The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore. There HAS to be some accountability.
"It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harrass without consequence and still remain anonymous.
"Until this changes, I will be disabling my accounts across all social platforms. I'm hoping this happens soon."
Hi Guys- Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) March 26, 2021
From tomorrow morning I will be removing myself from social media until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright.... pic.twitter.com/gXSObqo4xg
Last month, former Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka said social media abuse sent to footballers is having hugely harmful impact on sport.
Xhaka has received abuse aimed at him and his family in recent months and he believes the trend could 'kill' football.
"I wish I could meet the people who write me the things, to sit with them, eyes by eyes and to ask them, 'why are you writing things like this?'" he said.
"This is not acceptable. So you have to open our eyes and to look after this a lot, because I think you kill the football like this if the people start to speak about a player or their families or things like this."
:speaking_head: Granit Xhaka on abuse on social media: "I don't see them as supporters of my club. You can say whatever you want about football, but not about a person or the family."- TikiTakaConnor (@TikiTakaConnor) February 24, 2021
Earlier this year, talented former A-League midfielder Josh Hope, 22, announced his decision to walk away from a promising career in football because of the crippling anxiety he suffered from relentless and debilitating online abuse.
"I gave away a penalty. It happens but after that game in particular, I had hundreds of tags on social media and they were all negative. Not to mention the personal messages." Hope told SPORTbible.
"Someone said they would kill me if I gave away another penalty. It's a vicious cycle because you become so scared of fucking up, you can't play properly. And it really didn't stop after that.
"Once you get that much hate, it doesn't matter if you play a few good games, people's minds are set."
Thoughts on Henry's decision to leave social media until action is taken?
Let us know in the comments.
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