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Idris Elba calls for social media ID to stamp out racist ‘cowards’

Idris Elba has urged ‘cowardly’ racists to ‘say it with their name, not their username’ (Picture: WireImage)

Idris Elba has backed calls for social media companies to implement stricter verification IDs as a measure to crackdown on racist trolls. 

Over the past week, social media has been filled with abhorrent levels of racism towards Black England footballers Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho following the Euro 2020 final where they each missed penalties. 

It has sparked a wider conversation about social media companies, such as Instagram and Twitter, police their platforms to ensure trolls are held accountable for any abuse they post online. 

A petition was launched by former glamour model Katie Price last week and has reached over half a million signatures, calling for the Government to make it law for social media users to prove their identity. 

Luther actor Idris appears to support the suggestion and wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday: ‘People in the public eye get verified on social media, (symbolised by a blue tick), the process of verification requires them to prove their IDENTITY, so everyone knows WHO is speaking. 

‘Social media companies should make this mandatory for all users. Currently, social media is like boarding a plane and not having to show I.D.

‘That would never happen.’ 

The British actor, 48, continued: ‘If cowards are being supported by a veil of privacy and secrecy, then social media is not a safe space. It is an aeroplane that allows travellers to wear balaclavas. 

‘If cowards want to spout racial rhetoric then say it with your name, not your username.’ 

He added in the caption: ‘Repost if you agree. Say less if you don’t.’ 

However, Love Island star Luke Trotman didn’t seem to agree entirely as he pointed out: ‘Passports cost money, only 47% of Americans have one. It can be unfair to prevent those who don’t have one from social media.’ 

One follower replied: ‘You wouldn’t need a passport though. Just your basic ID like your driver’s license, photo ID card or birth certificate and there’s not really a good reason to not have those kinds of IDs so it’s not unfair at all.’ 

England's Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, and Bukayo Saka

England’s Black footballers, including Marcus Rashford (l) and Bukayo Saka (r), have been subjected to abhorrent racism (Picture: PA)

Idris’ sentiments were backed by the likes of Tinie Tempah, who commented: ‘I been saying this speak brooo!’ and Alexandra Burke who posted hand-praising emoji. 

Reality star Katie launched the petition after experiencing horrific trolling towards her mixed race son Harvey, who has various complex needs. 

She explained: ‘Make it a legal requirement when opening a new social media account, to provide a verified form of ID. Where the account belongs to a person under the age of 18 verify the account with the ID of a parent/guardian, to prevent anonymised harmful activity, providing traceability if an offence occurs. 

‘My son Harvey is disabled. He is also the kind and gentle son of a person regularly in the public eye. The Online Harms Bill doesn’t go far enough in making online abuse a specific criminal offence and doing what ‘Harvey’s Law’ intended. 

‘To make the law work needs the removal of anonymity to ensure that users cannot cause harm by using online platforms to abuse others.

‘Where an offence has taken place they ought to be easily identified and reported to the police and punished. We have experienced the worst kind of abuse towards my disabled son and want to make sure that no one can hide behind their crime.’

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