Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt believes social media companies have to do more to police themselves against those who use the platforms to send personal abuse.
Several Wanderers players are active on social media and the Bolton boss says he would never stop any of the squad being active on the various platforms.
Evatt and most, if not all of his players have received criticism on social media over their performances on the pitch this season.
The Bolton boss has no issue with this if matters stick to football – but does when it goes beyond that and criticism becomes personal.
Evatt believes that society in general and social media companies must do more to police themselves to make those who use the platforms accountable for their actions and for users to think about what they are posting.
Evatt said: “One thing I will say is that social media companies have to do more. People should really consider what they say and until they are held accountable for their words then it is a free for all.
“Me, most of my players, if not all of them, have at some stage received personal criticism on social media.
“Now if it is football-related criticism, that is part of the job. We accept that all day long because football is a game of opinions, they are welcomed. But when it becomes personal, it is important that people understand what they are saying.
“We have to as a society, including the social media companies, start making people accountable for their words.
“I would never stop them. It is their call and their decision.
“People will read positives and negatives. And if they are football issues then I have absolutely no problem. Football is just a game that welcomes debate.
“If people are critiquing my job as a manager, or players’ performance then that is the nature of the beast. When it becomes deeper, or personal, it can cause severe damage.
“We have to understand what is being said, the words you use. Think about the other person and their feelings. Social media companies have to police it better and whether that comes from the government, I don’t know.
“You should not be allowed to make up a random account and start firing abuse at someone.
“We have to learn our lessons. Social media networks are becoming a pretty negative place.”
The situation was highlighted after Bolton ended the loan spell of winger Marcus Maddison yesterday for the player’s personal reasons.
The Charlton Athletic winger is taking a step back from football and is considering his future in the game after admitting that the sport no longer brings him any enjoyment.
Maddison’s exploits at Bolton on the pitch have been discussed on social media during his time at the club and Evatt admits he does not know if this had an impact on the winger or not.
He added: “I don’t know is the answer. But I know and understand he received heavy criticism, personal criticism in the past, and this season. We all have.
“Some of us feel strong enough to cope and deal with it. You welcome football critique. But when it becomes personal there is a problem. We need to be more cautious.”