The world would be a much better place if social media trolls were held more accountable for their actions, according to Hector Bellerin.
The Arsenal and Spain right-back is known for using his social media accounts to share his interests outside the game, particularly his lifelong love of fashion. With close to five million followers between his Twitter and Instagram accounts, Bellerin receives plenty of interaction from his fans and detractors alike.
He doesn’t understand why people spent their time sending hateful messages to, in his case, someone they likely have never met.
“It’s strange that in the world we live in today people act like this,” Bellerin told TalkSPORT. “I think if everyone was held more accountable then the world would be a much better place.
“Social media can be great in getting you that contact with fans, but it can also be very hard. You have to learn to deal with it.
“When it [abuse] happens you want to write back, but then you realise that for every one bad message you can have 100 good messages that you don’t notice so much.”
Recently, Gunners legend Ian Wright spoke out after he received messages of horrific racist abuse from a teenager over Instagram direct messages.
Police launched an investigation into the individual but the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) called on social media networks to take stronger action against abuse.
"We are disgusted to see the racist abuse aimed at Ian Wright and Gabriel Agbonlahor and their families today. At any time, this is abhorrent behaviour, but when people should be coming together more than ever, it is particularly disturbing," said a PFA spokesman.
"It is unacceptable for social networks to allow instances like this to go on. With the technology and expertise at their disposal, there simply must be a way to prevent abuse like this from being sent. Anything less than that is not good enough."
Bellerin also spoke about the more positive aspects of social media for public figures, adding that it could help players prepare themselves for life after retirement.
“I think right now footballers have such a big platform that they must utilise and use in the best ways possible,” he explained.
“If you are lucky your career can continue until you are 35 or 40, so you need to make sure you have everything set up for when you retire. By building your brand early you can have a much better chance at creating success for yourself.”