Premier League clubs discuss US software that makes online abuse instantly disappear

image of app folder on phone titled social media

Six Premier League sides are in discussions with an American tech firm in a deal they hope will enable clubs and players to eliminate their exposure to abuse on social media platforms.

Clubs and players are exasperated by the inability of social media companies to police abuse on their platforms to an acceptable standard and one of the biggest frustrations is the perceived lack of speed the companies demonstrate in removing abuse.

Championship clubs Swansea and Birmingham, as well as Scottish champions Rangers, last week carried out a boycott of social media platforms in protest against the abuse their staff and players are routinely exposed to by supporters online. Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has quit social media in response to social media abuse, while Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has handed his Twitter account over to anti-cyberbullying organisation Cybersmile to raise awareness of the abuse his team-mates are frequently subjected to.

Premier League clubs are not ruling out a boycott of their own but their battle to protect players against abuse has intensified after several leading clubs heard a pitch during the past few weeks from the US firm Respondology, whose software allows the abuse to be hidden in real time on several major social platforms, which means their players would not be exposed to the abuse.

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