Here’s why Idris Elba wants all social media users to be verified

U.K.-born actor of Sierra Leon descent Idris Elba has called on social media companies to make verification mandatory for all users ‘so everyone knows WHO is speaking.’

The “Beats of No Nation” actor’s call comes after three England footballers were subjected to a torrent of racist abuse online after they missed their penalties in England's Euro 2020 final this month.

According to Idris, since most verification processes require applicants to share their identification cards, it would be easier to hold them responsible for their online abuses.

The 48-year-old actor made this statement on his official Instagram page on Sunday, July 18.

“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,” he wrote.

He continued: “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.”

He said if cowards are being protected by privacy features on social media, then the platforms are not spaces.

“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 concluded.

Three England footballers, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, were subjected to a torrent of racist abuse online after they missed their penalties in England's Euro 2020 final this month.

The English FA was "appalled" by the "online racism" directed at the three players following the defeat at Wembley.

In a press statement, it said: "We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team.

"We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.

"We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences.

"Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse."

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