“It’s too easy, and there’s no repercussions…” – Sheffield Wednesday’s Chey Dunkley on social media abuse and the Premier League’s Mike Dean
Chey Dunkley wants Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies to do more in the fight against online abuse, and spoke about his sympathy for referee, Mike Dean.
Dean, a long-time official in English football, had to notify police of death threats that he received after decisions that he made in recent games, while a terrifying amount of footballers have been subjected to racist and hateful abuse via the likes of Instagram and other platforms.
Dunkley is not shy about interacting with fans via his social media accounts, but he admits that it’s not always easy to ignore some of the messages that come in.
Speaking to the media today, ‘Dunks’ said, “It’s very easy to abuse online… And it’s easy to say ‘be the bigger man, and ignore it’ but I think something does need to change. It’s getting a lot of attention, and it’s abuse to people who are in the limelight.
“They’re looking at needing IDs or a passport to set up accounts, and I’m sure Facebook, Twitter and the others have had that strategy put in front of them.
“When you buy a house, or a vehicle, you have to show ID - so we know who is behind that vehicle or house. Hopefully it’s something that gets addressed… It’s too easy for people to abuse people and use unacceptable language - and there’s no repercussions.”
And regarding Dean, he urged for more respect.
“We don’t want to see any forms of abuse,” he said. “For Mike Dean, there was talk of death threats, and we don’t want to see that… He’s a part of our sport, and we understand that they have to make big decisions. Sometimes they get it wrong, but that’s just human nature.
“We don’t need to go down the avenue where people cause distress and mess about with someone’s wellbeing. It’s a sport, it’s entertainment. It should never be about violence or causing anybody distress.”
The EFL today wrote to Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook to highlight their concerns, and the Owls offered their support, saying, “The Owls wholeheartedly support this open letter from English football. Discrimination and abuse of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”