the metropolitan police arrested a total of eight men following an investigation into racist online abuse against an anonymous Tottenham player, it was announced on Friday.
The investigation was opened after a Spurs player suffered racist abuse on social media after his 3-1 loss to Manchester United in April.
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The abuse was detected by United’s reporting tool and then reported to Manchester Police, resulting in arrests after anonymous social media users were tracked.
“This action makes it clear that police will not stand for racist brutality, even if it is committed online,” Detective Sergeant Matt Simpson of the Met’s Public Crime Team said in a statement.
“The posts, which were all on Twitter, were vulgar and totally unacceptable. There is no safe haven for this type of abusive behavior and we are committed to taking decisive action to uproot it.”
Spurs responded to the arrests with a declaration who said, “We applaud the action taken here. There is no place for racism anywhere in our game and our society.”
Kick It Out CEO Tony Burnett also said: “We are happy to see these arrests, it sends a powerful message that online abuse is unacceptable and those convicted will face real consequences.
“Social media has become a vehicle for inappropriate behavior in society and some people think it is okay to send abusive messages. We need to make sure that we create an environment where online abuse is punished and perpetrators are identified as much as possible.
“These arrests demonstrate the police’s commitment to tackling online abuse and we hope this sends a message to others to think twice before posting discriminatory abuse. It is also important that we stay focused. on the well-being of those who play, watch and work in football, and receive abuse, and we will continue to offer our support to those in need. “
An increase in online abuse led English football to unite and boycott social media for four days, from April 30 to May 3.