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Idris Elba Said It Should Be "Mandatory" For Social Media Users To Verify Their ID After England Players Were Subject To Racist Abuse

"Say it with your name, not your username."

Posted on July 19, 2021, at 8:12 a.m. ET

Actor Idris Elba is calling for more stringent ID verification measures on social media platforms in an attempt to combat racism online.

Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

In the week since the Euro 2020 final, players Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, and Jadon Sancho have all been subjected to torrents of racist abuse on social media, with all three releasing statements about it.

Eddie Keogh / The FA

Rashford, Saka, and Sancho all missed penalties in a 3–2 shootout at the July 11 final, and England was ultimately defeated in the tournament by Italy.

In a statement on his Twitter account the following day, 23-year-old Rashford said: "I can take critique of my performance all day long... but I will never apologise for who I am or where I came from."

"I'm not going to pretend that I didn't see the racial abuse that me and my brothers Marcus and Bukayo received after the game," Sancho wrote in his own statement on July 14. "But sadly it's nothing new. As a society we need to do better, and hold these people accountable."

On July 15, 19-year-old Saka posted a message directly calling for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to do more to combat racism on their platforms.

Eddie Keogh / The FA

"I don't want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me, Marcus, and Jadon have received this week," he said.

He went on: "I knew instantly the kind of hate that I was about to receive and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages."

Now Idris has added his voice to those supporting the England players, saying in an Instagram post on Sunday that ID verification should be "mandatory" for everyone who creates a social media account.

Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

Previously, Idris had posted a captionless photo of Bukayo Saka to show his support for the player the day after the Euro 2020 final.

"People in the public eye get verified on social media," the 48-year-old began his post. "The process of verification requires them to prove their IDENTITY, so everyone knows WHO is speaking."

Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

"Social media companies should make this mandatory for all users," Idris said.

"Currently, social media is like boarding a plane and not having to show ID," he continued. "That would never happen."

"If cowards are being supported by a veil of privacy and secrecy, then social media is not a safe space," the Luther actor concluded. "If cowards want to spout racial rhetoric then say it with your name, not your username."

Alexander Koerner / Getty Images

His caption on the post simply read: "Repost if you agree. Say less if you don't."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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