Facebook has reacted to the racial abuse of seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton by stating its commitment to 'keeping our community safe'.
During and after the British Grand Prix, Hamilton became the target of racist abuse from online trolls as a result of his lap-one contact with Max Verstappen.
Much of the abuse was visible on Instagram, the image-sharing platform owned by Facebook, in the comments section of posts on the Mercedes team's profile.
"The racist abuse directed at Lewis Hamilton during and after the British Grand Prix is unacceptable and we've removed a number of comments from Instagram," said a spokesperson for Facebook.
"In addition to our work to remove comments and accounts that repeatedly break our rules, there are safety features available, including comment filters and message controls, which can mean no one has to see this type of abuse.
"No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we're committed to the work to keep our community safe from abuse."
The features listed by Facebook are not automatically set and must be switched on and maintained by individual users.
Social media platforms must "turn the tide" on racism
Oliver Dowden, the UK secretary of state for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport took to Twitter to make clear his thoughts that social media companies "must act now" to stem levels of online abuse.
"It's clear that this issue isn't fixed as some companies have claimed," he said. "Once again we saw racist comments and emojis aimed at our sports stars this weekend.
"I’ve been asked if the new Online Safety laws will make social media firms deal with abuse like this and I can confirm that it will.
"Today, the legislative process for the Draft Online Safety Bill has begun - a key moment as the Joint Committee of MPs and Members of the House of Lords is being set up to examine the Bill.
"However, social media companies can and must act now. We’re all sick to death of seeing the bile and the threats.
"It’s time for platforms to turn the tide on racist abuse."
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