Lewis Hamilton says FIA president’s promise ‘doesn’t mean anything to me’

Lewis Hamilton has suggested that speaking out against social media abuse does not make a difference.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has spoken against the recent wave of social media abuse, pledging to do as much as he possibly can to help against the online trolls after a steward received death threats earlier this week.

Silvia Bellot was part of the stewarding team that awarded Fernando Alonso his 30-second post-race penalty in Austin, which was later rescinded.

The decision making that day from the stewards was heavily criticised, but Bellot was subjected to a level of online abuse that no one should ever have to encounter.

Ben Sulayem has called for every motorsport organisation and every country involved with the FIA to come together in a joint effort against online abuse, promising to reveal details about a new scheme to help counter the problem in Abu Dhabi.

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Lewis Hamilton has now made the point that words make no difference, and that action needs to be made to stop the online trolls, as the Brit grows worried about what the social media scene might look like in the future.

“The question is, what can we do about it? I don’t control social media, none of us do,” he said.

“I don’t know what the platforms are doing but naturally. I’m sure that there is more that can be done to protect people but I really don’t know what the solution is.

“I worry about kids today who are experiencing some of the things that… we’re talking about adults experiencing bullying but kids particularly, it can be so detrimental to their futures.”

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The seven-time world champion has said that he is trying to lead by example, by using his own social media accounts to show youngsters how they should conduct themselves online.

“I don’t know what the best day of tackling that is but all I can do is control how I use mine and hopefully encourage others that are using theirs to use it better,” he explained.

“It [Ben Sulayem’s comments] doesn’t really mean anything to me, the support, because it is just words.

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“There needs to be some sort of action in the background.”

Hamilton has recently said that he no longer reads comments or messages that he receives on social media, such is the prominence of trolls in the online F1 community, who hide behind profiles to send purposefully hurtful messages.

The F1 world waits eagerly to see what the FIA president will announce in Abu Dhabi, as the FIA attempts to tackle online abuse.