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Thierry Henry Joins PUMA to Lead Campaign to Protect Social Media Users and Stand Up Against Trolls

Thierry Henry has launched a new campaign to combat online hate, as the legend of Arsenal and France intensifies his crusade to protect users against ‘faceless and cowardly’ trolls.

Henry has been a leading figure in protests against social media companies, accused of not doing enough to stop the wave of hate, and against those who use their platforms to target others with racism and abuse.

The former striker deactivated all of his social media accounts in March and was a vocal supporter of a boycott of online platforms by British sports the following month.

Thierry Henry leads a new campaign with PUMA to address racist hate and abuse online.  The campaign will be hosted on a social action platform, Game of Our Lives, launched today

Thierry Henry leads a new campaign with PUMA to address racist hate and abuse online. The campaign will be hosted on a social action platform, Game of Our Lives, launched today

PUMA's 'Highlight the Hate, Action the Love' campaign is hosted on a new online platform

PUMA's 'Highlight the Hate, Action the Love' campaign is hosted on a new online platform

PUMA’s ‘Highlight the Hate, Action the Love’ campaign is hosted on a new online platform

Now the former player-turned-expert has joined forces with PUMA and will lead the sports brand’s campaign to combat hate using a new online platform, called Game of Our Lives, which was launched today in Lisbon at a web summit.

“Tackling hate online is something I’m passionate about,” Henry said. “We have amazing technology at our disposal and we should use it forever.

“It is up to us to make sure this is the case and to protect the next generation from this cowardly and faceless way of spreading hate online.”

Soccer has taken a firm stance on online abuse with all sports authorities joining forces in England, including the anti-racist organization Kick It Out, to pressure social media platforms to take greater responsibility for the problem.

The problem of online hatred in sports, particularly soccer, has become overwhelming in recent years, with a sharp increase in abusive comments directed at players during the coronavirus pandemic, when fans were excluded from the matches.

Wilfried Zaha was subjected to racist abuse after Crystal Palace's victory over Man City

Wilfried Zaha was subjected to racist abuse after Crystal Palace's victory over Man City

Wilfried Zaha was subjected to racist abuse after Crystal Palace’s victory over Man City

Zaha shared screenshots of some of the offensive messages.

Zaha shared screenshots of some of the offensive messages.

The messages appeared to be received privately on Instagram.

The messages appeared to be received privately on Instagram.

Zaha shared screenshots of some of the offensive messages, privately received on Instagram, while asking social media companies to do more to combat the problem.

Another example of abusive messages

Another example of abusive messages

Zaha demanded more actions from social media companies

Zaha demanded more actions from social media companies

Zaha demanded more action from social media companies (right) to combat racist abuse

The trend has continued as fans have returned to the stadiums this season, and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha is the latest to report disgusting and racist comments sent to him via Instagram.

The 28-year-old Palace favorite posted a series of screenshots calling him ‘n *****’, ‘monkey’ and ‘chimp’ in private messages sent to him on Instagram following the impressive 2- 0 win over Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday.

Zaha scored Palace’s first goal, their 50th in the Premier League, as they claimed an unexpected victory and was brought down by City’s Aymeric Laporte, who was subsequently sent off.

Yesterday, Sportsmail reported that the nine-month-old daughter of India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma had been threatened with rape in vile online posts. The disgusting abuse followed poor performances by the Indian team in the T20 World Cup, including the loss to arch rival Pakistan.

The treatment of Kohli, footballers and other athletes has highlighted the broader problem of online abuse and the inadequate controls that social media companies have put in place to prevent and treat it.

Zaha celebrates after scoring Crystal Palace's first goal at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday

Zaha celebrates after scoring Crystal Palace's first goal at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday

Zaha celebrates after scoring Crystal Palace’s first goal at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday

The daughter of India's cricketer captain Virat Kohli and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma has been the target of rape threats online after the country's cricketers lost to Pakistan.

The daughter of India's cricketer captain Virat Kohli and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma has been the target of rape threats online after the country's cricketers lost to Pakistan.

The daughter of India’s cricketer captain Virat Kohli and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma has been the target of rape threats online after the country’s cricketers lost to Pakistan.

PUMA’s campaign, titled Highlight the Hate, Action the Love, will ‘push decision makers towards a safer, more accountable and accountable system, specifically targeting social media organizations and users.’

Fans are invited to sign up in support of Henry and the campaign and will be given actions to take in an attempt to pressure social media companies. The goal is to create a movement of people that social media companies, and trolls, cannot ignore.

The website highlights social issues, including online hatred, but also equality, environmental challenges, and poverty reduction, among others, and invites users to register and take action.

Each issue is championed by a well-known social activist or ambassador. In the end there will be more than 30 themes.

The idea is to encourage people around the world to join forces to tackle global problems.

The platform is the brainchild of tech entrepreneur Dylan Ingham and social activist Juergen Griesbeck, who has previously used soccer as a force for change.

They say they’re ‘on a mission to activate a billion humans [to give] one percent of your time to people and the planet by 2030 ‘.

Former Arsenal striker Henry described the social media boycott of English football earlier this year as his 'happiest moment' after leaving social media in protest of the abuse.

Former Arsenal striker Henry described the social media boycott of English football earlier this year as his 'happiest moment' after leaving social media in protest of the abuse.

Former Arsenal striker Henry described the social media boycott of English football earlier this year as his ‘happiest moment’ after leaving social media in protest of the abuse.

“To start making a difference, it only takes one person to speak out against the many social and environmental issues we face, but can you imagine the impact that thousands, millions, or even billions of people can have?” Ingham said.

‘The sole purpose of Game of Our Lives is to provide a safe path for people to channel their apathy or anger towards these issues and take purposeful action. To act on global problems, we all have a responsibility to solve. ‘

Adam Petrick, PUMA Global Head of Brand Marketing, added: ‘PUMA is delighted to join the Game of Our Lives social action platform and take our social agenda to the next level. Starting this by supporting Thierry couldn’t be more appropriate, as online bullying continues to be one of the key issues within our community and society at large. ”

* For more information on Game of Our Lives, visit www.gameofourlives.org

* To join PUMA and Thierry Henry’s Highlight the Hate, Action the Love Game of Our Lives, visit the team www.gameofourliv.es/Thierry

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