Sunday should have been a joyous day for seven-time champion driver Lewis Hamilton, but it quickly turned into a nightmare. Working through a crash with rival driver, Max Verstappen, and a ten-second time penalty, Hamilton won the British Grand Prix on July 18. Shortly after the racist, the accomplished driver and activist was pelted with racist insults online. As a result, Facebook was forced to remove a number of comments from its myriad of social media platforms on Sunday evening and Monday morning.
"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," a Facebook spokesperson told CNN.
"No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we're committed to the work to keep our community safe from abuse."
Unfortunately, racist remarks were not limited to Facebook and Instagram. Twitter also worked to remove targeted attacks from its platform following Hamilton's British Grand Prix victory.
"We have clear abusive behaviour and hateful conduct policies in place and we take enforcement of these policies very seriously," a Twitter spokesperson added.
"We will take decisive and swift action on any account that breaks our rules."
Hamilton did not provide a public statement, but his team's president, Toto Wolff, spoke about the harassment Hamilton endured during an interview with BBC.
"We have seen it in the football in the European Championship and the abuse that is absolutely not acceptable, and the same yesterday, and I still question whether some just don't get it," Wolff said.
In the face of harassment and racism, Hamilton will race yet again at the Hungarian Grand Prix on August 1.
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