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Ellis Genge calls on social media companies to verify users after receiving death threats during the Six Nations

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Leicester Tigers prop was subjected to death threats after appearing not to clap the victorious Welsh players off the pitch in Cardiff; Genge says his family was also targeted online; the 26-year-old wants to see users verified when setting up accounts on social media

Ellis Genge says he’d like to see social media companies do more to help identify those who abuse others online

Ellis Genge says he would like to see social media companies verify users after he was subjected to death threats from anonymous accounts during the Six Nations.

After England’s loss to Wales in the third round, Genge was subjected to online abuse when footage surfaced of him not clapping the victorious Welsh players off the pitch.

The prop says members of his family have also been targeted online, adding that it was the fact that people were saying things behind nameless accounts that upset him more than the content of the messages.

“I wasn’t too bothered about it, to be honest,” the Tigers forward told Sky Sports News. “I’m not a big fan of people hiding behind keyboards.

“If it was a normal account… I honestly wouldn’t be bothered at all, it’s more so the fake accounts that wind me up, not the actual verbals coming from them.”

Asked if the messages had put him off using social media, Genge said: “Yeah a little bit, especially when they start ciphering through and they find your family and start commenting on their stuff.

“But I think social media is one of the best things about the sport because you get to see all the different, diverse parts of it.

This is the message from Sky Sports presenters and reporters, who have united in supporting a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of online hate and abuse on social media

“Especially with the lockdown, this is the only way [fans have] been able to access it.

“I understand that’s why people are so frustrated and venting on social media, because they haven’t been out the house in however long, that’s probably why we’re getting a few more silly messages than usual.”

Genge says he chose not to report the abuse to the social media comp anies, and though he understands that there would be difficulties in implementing it, he wants to see more done to make people accountable for their words.

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“I’d like to see that,” he said. “But then I guess you’re opening up with the internet… you see these social media platforms getting hacked quite a lot, so what if they then had all the passports and access to all the people’s details?

“You’re going down a few more rabbit holes then, aren’t you? Maybe that’s why they haven’t done it.

“But yeah, I’d like to see people have to be verified or something – some sort of verification.”

‘Everyone hates England, they play their best game against us’

Ellis Genge says discipline is an area that has let the squad down during the Six Nations, and they can’t think they’re the finished article after victory against France

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England have had a mixed set of results in this year’s Six Nations, losing to Scotland and Wales to end their title ambitions before coming up with the performance of the championship to beat pre-tournament favourites France on Saturday.

Genge says negative comments from outside the camp did not have an effect on the team after the losses, and that they will be equally cautious of getting carried away with the praise that has come their way following the victory at Twickenham.

“I don’t personally think it affected us, I think we just genuinely didn’t play to the best of our ability and we were ill-disciplined in some of the games,” he said.

“The thing is with that, now everyone will be singing and dancing, saying ‘best game ever at Twickenham’ and pumping our tyres up because we beat France.

Ellis Genge reacts as Maro Itjoe scores the winning try against France Ellis Genge reacts as Maro Itjoe scores the winning try against France

“I’d say that’s probably the biggest thing that we have to be wary of now, is not to get ahead of ourselves and think we’re the finished article, because there’s always work to do.”

The 26-year-old says the opposition to have beaten them deserve credit for their performances, and feels sides always pitch up against Eddie Jones’ side because “everyone hates us”.

“Some of the teams have played well. The tough thing for England is that everyone always plays their best game against us. For whatever reason it is, everyone hates us.

“I think we’re actually quite decent people but everyone begs to differ. That’s how I feel and I think a few of the boys feel that as well, everyone just wants to have their best performance against us.

“Scotland beat us in the first round and they’ve not done as well since. For me, everyone always puts their best foot forward against us and we’ve got to be ready for that and we obviously weren’t for two of the games.”

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