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Facebook is acting after racist abuse of Welsh footballers

Facebook removed Instagram accounts where two Welsh internationals, Rabbi Matondo and Ben Cabango, were subjected to racist abuse after their 1-0 win over Mexico on Saturday.

Facebook owns Instagram and has acted a few hours after Matondo criticized the social media platform, accusing Instagram of doing nothing about racist abuse.

Stoke City winger and Swansea defender Kabango – both 20 – sent offensive Instagram messages.

Welsh police said they are “investigating the origin of racially motivated social media posts” targeting Kabango and Matondo.

A Facebook spokesperson said that aside from removing the accounts, the company is working on other measures to combat online abuse.

“We don’t want racist abuse on Instagram and we removed the accounts that sent these messages to Ben Cabango and Rabi Matondo this weekend,” the spokeswoman said.

“We’ve built tools that mean that public figures will never have to receive direct messages (DMs) from people who don’t follow them, and we recently announced that we will take tougher action when we realize that people are breaking our rules in direct messages.

This work continues and we are committed to doing more.

“We also know that these problems are bigger than us, so we are working with industry, government and others to drive societal change collectively through work and education.”

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) urged social media platforms to do more.

“FAW joins federations and other national clubs in urging social media platforms and regulatory authorities to take stronger, more effective and urgent action against this desperate behavior.”

Matondo had earlier highlighted the paradox of such accounts being alive, but copyright restrictions mean his account will be deleted if he posts pictures of the friendly with Mexico.

Matondo wrote on Twitter: “And it goes on … another week of Instagram doing absolutely nothing about racial assault.”

“My Instagram account will be deleted if I post any clips of my games despite … priorities.”

The duo are the latest footballers to suffer racist abuse on social media.

Among those who suffered such abuse were Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and their Manchester United team-mate Fred.

Fred said last week that he “cannot nurture a culture” of racism after he suffered racist abuse after his side’s FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Leicester.

Despite this, Twitter said in February that they would not end the practice of allowing people to post from anonymous accounts, despite protests from Premier League chiefs.

“On Twitter, we are guided by our values, and no more than that when it comes to fundamental issues like identity.

“We believe that everyone has the right to share their vote without needing to have a government ID card to do so.

“Pseudonyms have been a vital tool for speaking out in repressive regimes. They are no less important in democratic societies.”

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