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What Melbourne’s mean tweets banner is ‘really about’

Melbourne footy boss Josh Mahoney says the club’s “mean tweets” banner isn’t just about highlighting the problems famous footballers face on social media.

He says it’s for everyone.

The Demons will run through a banner made up of abuse directed at players online in the hope of raising awareness about the damage it causes.

Mahoney told Neil Mitchell that while footballers were often the public face of online abuse, they were also afforded advantages the general public often don’t have when dealing with bullying and abuse online.

“AFL players have actually got a support network,” he said.

“We’ve got an environment where two people, Shannon Byrnes and Matty Whelan, are there full-time to help them from a welfare point of view – we’ve got sports psychologists.

“But if you talk the general population and young kids – I think 1 in 5 are affected by online bullying – they haven’t got the support that our players have got.

“They’re the ones this campaign is really about.”

Mahoney said an increasing number of players were getting off social media.

“But that’s not the answer,” he said.

“Our young players and young people, in general, use social media as a way of connection and gathering information – it’s the way they do things.

“So to tell them to get off it is not solving the problem.”

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