Novak Djokovic on social media abuse: ‘It’s a serious subject that everyone needs to address’

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon press conference

Novak Djokovic has suggested social media abuse is an issue that needs to be confronted and stopped, as he spoke out against online trolls and the damage they can cause.

Speaking after his 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 win against Denis Kudla in the third round at Wimbledon, the world No 1, who has been abused online along with his wife on social media platforms, said the negative comments can have a devastating impact for those on the receiving end.

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“That’s the era of internet, you know, and social media,” he began. “People have a platform through which they can express themselves in a good and, unfortunately, in a very bad way. It’s a serious issue we are having not just in sports but just in general.

“A lot of people are being abused. A lot of teenagers nowadays, boys and girls have phones very early in their lives, they go through a lot of depression because of the abuse, the comments, the things they encounter on an everyday basis on the Internet and social media.

“It’s a serious subject that everyone needs to address and be involved in and try to create more protective environment. But it’s difficult. It’s free.

“It’s out there, so anybody can really open an account, profile on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, whatever, and start abusing, trolling somebody that they don’t like.

“It’s really hard to protect yourself fully from that unless you just switch off and you’re not present. So I feel like we all have to stand with each other but at the same time I of course publicly accuse and I’m against the abuse of course.”

Novak Djokovic focused

Djokovic urged those subjected to abuse to speak about it with people close to them and now allow it to affect their lives.

“For anybody going through that, you need to address that psychologically with yourself, with your close ones, with your family in a very serious way because it affects the mental state especially of the younger people, teenagers,” he added.

“They go through a lot of depression. I know it happens in my country. It happens everywhere. So it’s a global issue.”

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