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Max Verstappen

Verstappen, Hamilton explain why social media has become toxic

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have both offered opinions on the state of F1 social media and the impact it can have.

Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen hopes that social media companies can "come up with an algorithm" to prevent toxic abuse.

As F1 has expanded to new audiences in recent times, abuse between fans of drivers and teams has become more prevalent, with Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz also receiving unwanted messages in the aftermath of his comments from the US Grand Prix from which Red Bull decided to snub Sky in Mexico.

This is on top of the abuse and hatred that already existed on social media, with Verstappen believing it to be a by-product of F1's expanding state, while fellow World Champion Lewis Hamilton thinks that more should be done to help protect the vulnerable by big social media companies.

Verstappen and Hamilton discuss social media

"I think [the sport] is more popular, so more people are watching and writing, it is just that," explained two-time World Champion Verstappen to media including RacingNews365.com.

"It is not great that they are allowed to write this kind of thing, so I hope that we can come up with a kind of algorithm that stops people from being keyboard warriors.

"These kind of people will never come up to you and say these things in front of your face, it's just because they're sitting in front of their desk or whatever at home, being upset and frustrated, they feel like they can write whatever they like because the platform allows them to.

"That can be really damaging and hurtful to some people, and it's not how it should be."

Hamilton agreed with Verstappen about the toxic nature of social media, but expressed his doubts that any meaningful change would be swift in appearing.

"I think social media is getting more and more toxic as the years go on – I think we should all probably get off it," the seven-time champion said.

"Ultimately, for many people mental health is such a prominent thing right now and there's so many people reading comments and stuff that people say and it is hurtful.

"Fortunately, I don't read their stuff but these social media platforms definitely need to do more to protect people, particularly young kids and women.

"But at the moment, they're not doing that, so I think this will just continue."

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Perez gives his opinion

Verstappen's Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez also weighed in on the topic, arguing that F1 drivers and other public figures are easy targets for the trolls because of their visibility.

"Because you are a public figure, they feel they can insult you and your family while just sitting behind a desk," explained Perez.

"They don't understand that we are also human beings, and I think that it's just got to stop.

"Obviously [as F1], we need to be responsible of what we post, by ourselves because we have a lot of followers.

"So it is very important that we try to run [F1] in the right way, because it is a great sport and has great values, but has more to do in that regard.

"In general, the social media world is getting far too toxic."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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