19 August 2021

Facebook and Instagram remove abusive comments directed at Lizzo

19 August 2021

Facebook and Instagram have removed a number of hateful comments from the social media accounts of singer Lizzo

The move comes in response to the US star revealing she has been the subject of abuse online which she described as “hurtful”, “racist” and “fatphobic”.

Speaking during an Instagram Live earlier this week, Lizzo said she had been targeted following the release of her latest single, Rumours, a collaboration with rapper Cardi B.

Facebook confirmed it had removed several comments that broke the firm’s rules on hate speech and harassment, and that it would continue to review reports and take action accordingly.

Lizzo performs on stage at the Brit Awards 2020 at the O2 Arena (Isabel Infantes/PA) (PA Archive)

Lizzo said the incident had left her feeling “so down”.

“Sometimes I feel like the world just don’t love me back. It’s like it doesn’t matter how much positive energy you put into the world, you’re still gonna have people who have something mean to say about you,” she said in the now-deleted video.

The incident comes just a week after Instagram announced the introduction of tools designed to allow users to restrict comments and direct message requests when users are experiencing periods of increased attention, and hide interactions from accounts that do not follow the user or have only recently started to.

The feature, called Limits, has been specifically designed to help users reduce the amount of online abuse they encounter.

It follows the racist abuse directed at several black England footballers following the Euro 2020 final. Lizzo highlighted abuse directed at her based on her race and appearance as some of the most hurtful.

“What I won’t accept is y’all doing this to black women over and over and over again, especially us big black girls,” she said.

“When we don’t fit into the box that you want to put us in, you just unleash hatred on to us. It’s not cool.”

When asked in a TV interview on Good Morning America on Wednesday why she chose to continue using social media when she received such abuse, the pop star said it was an important tool in preventing herself and others from being marginalised.

“Black women have been in this industry and innovating it forever. It is unfortunate that we are the ones who do suffer from the marginalisation the most,” she said.

“I feel like if it weren’t for the internet and social media, I could’ve been erased. I chose to be undeniable and I chose to be loud and I chose to be great. And I’m still here. It’s difficult.”

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