talkSPORT radio has announced that it will stop promoting the company's Twitter accounts on air and on its website until it feels appropriate action is taken against a series of offensive messages directed toward Stan Collymore.
Collymore, a former Premier League and England striker, is now a presenter and commentator for the station and received a number of abusive messages via the social networking site on Saturday, Jan. 18, during Liverpool's draw with Aston Villa.
Collymore was sent racist tweets and death threats as a result of claiming that Luis Suarez dived to win Liverpool a penalty.
A statement released by the station, the biggest sports radio station in the UK, confirmed:
The station is to stop promoting Twitter and Twitter accounts until the station feels that Twitter is responding appropriately. No Twitter mentions will appear on air on talkSPORT, in print in SPORT Magazine or on talkSPORT’S digital platforms.
The statement also said that the company's chief executive, Scott Taunton, had written to Twitter on Wednesday, Jan. 22, to express its dismay at an apparent lack of support toward Collymore:
We are dismayed at the lack of response and perceived inaction by Twitter. Racist or abusive messages of this nature are illegal and unacceptable.
We have more than three million Twitter followers across our accounts but we will not promote these until we are satisfied that Twitter is doing its utmost to prevent abuse of this nature. We have a duty of care to all our staff and presenters and until I am satisfied that Twitter is treating this seriously we will no longer promote Twitter accounts or use tweets on-air.
It seems inconceivable that a hi-tech company with a market capitalisation of $30bn appears incapable of preventing racist and abusive tweets being broadcast across its platform.
Collymore has been vocal in his attempts to rid Twitter of racist abuse before, and has taken to a number of television and radio broadcasters in order to highlight the problem.
The former Liverpool, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest striker has also contacted the police, and a number of the tweets are now subject to police investigation.
Collymore's decision to fight back against abuse on Twitter has been wholeheartedly backed by others, including former England, Tottenham and Barcelona striker turned TV presenter Gary Lineker:
By bringing the problem to widespread attention, he has shown that he will not be backed into a corner by abuse, and he should be applauded for his stance.