Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has said that social media platforms are still not doing enough to curb abuse after Williams’ driver Nicholas Latifi received death threats following his car crash in the Formula 1 season finale in Abu Dhabi last year.
The 26-year-old Latifi faced a barrage of abuse on social media platforms after his car crashed in the final, which led to a last-lap restart that decided the championship.
“Ultimately, I don’t think there’s been a huge change or shift, or enough work that’s been done by these social platforms,” Hamilton was quoted as saying by autosport.com
“We still have to apply pressure for them to make changes. Mental health is a real thing and through these social platforms, people are experiencing abuse. No-one deserves that and it should never be tolerated. They’re able to change these things and make changes. But they don’t seem to do it quick enough. So, I think we just need to continue to apply pressure,” he said.
“I was in touch with Nicholas. He has my full support. And I know how difficult it can be in those situations. It’s important for him to know that he has support from people around him,” he added.
Before Hamilton, F1 driver George Russell who has joined Mercedes for the new season, but was teammates with Latifi for the past two years at Williams said he felt “really bad” for Latifi, calling the Canadian “an amazing guy” and echoed Hamilton’s call for social media companies to do more.
“More needs to be done for athletes and people in the spotlight, because people behind the keyboard think they have a right to say what they like to somebody who is out there trying to make a career for themselves,” Russell said.