In Brief

Collymore accuses Twitter over racism and death threats

Celebrities back pundit as he is trolled again after claiming Suarez dived for penalty

FORMER Liverpool and England striker Stan Collymore has accused Twitter of failing to do enough to prevent racist and abusive on its site after he came under attack, yet again, from users. 

In a series of obscene tweets targeted at the 42-year-old Collymore, he was called a "gorilla", a "mongrel" and "tree-swinging, banana-munching, bamboo-bashing n*****".

His crime? To have suggested that Liverpool striker Luis Suarez cheated by diving during Saturday's Premier League clash against Aston Villa. Ironically, Collymore is a former Liverpool player.

The Times says that Collymore has reported the abuse to the police, "who have been fantastic," according to the former player, but he is angry that Twitter has failed to respond.

In one tweet Collymore wrote: "In the last 24 hours I've been threatened with murder several times, demeaned on my race, and many of these accounts are still active. Why?" He then added: "I accuse Twitter directly of not doing enough to combat racist/homophobic/sexist hate messages, all of which are illegal in the UK."

Praising the swift reaction of the police to his complaint Collymore, who spoke about the issue on Wednesday morning on BBC breakfast television, said it was a "pity Twitter aren't interested".

Celebrities were quick to take up Collymore's calls for something to be done about Twitter abuse with broadcaster Piers Morgan and comedian Ricky Gervais among those to offer their support.

Show the world how angry and sad you are about your piss-poor, failed existence, by being racially abusive on the internet.

 

— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) January 21, 2014

I repeat, racist abuse & death threats both criminal offences in UK. So keep spewing it, trolls, and I will have you ALL dealt with.

 

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 21, 2014

The Times points out that Collymore's abuse comes in the same week that British Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle was subjected to "vile" sexist abuse during a Q&A session with Sky Sports News on Twitter.

West Midlands Police took to Twitter to confirm on its official page that an investigation has been launched into "alleged abusive tweets to Stan Collymore", asking people to block and report abuse at www.report-it.org.uk.

According to the Times, a spokeswoman from Twitter said the company was unable to comment on individual users but that there are "established processes" for reporting abuse to law enforcement agencies.

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