IAN Evatt wants more to be done by social media companies to make people responsible for what they say and how they act online.

Speaking after two of his players were targeted for abuse on social media platforms, the Bolton boss believes that the opportunity to remain completely anonymous for individual accounts is encouraging people to spread hateful comments without fear of repercussion.

Wanderers have recently worked with Greater Manchester Police after striker Elias Kachunga was racially abused in a series of messages on Instagram, with players given information on how to report incidents and what best practices to adopt online.

Evatt believes his players have the right to use social media freely and would not consider asking them to step away.

“No. Why should they have to? Why should this world and this thing, which can be used for good, be turned into such toxicity?” he reasoned. “I don’t understand it, but they have a responsibility as social media companies to do more in my opinion.

“Whether that is identification, a name behind your words so you are more accountable, I don’t know the answer, but there needs to be an answer and quickly.”

After Kachunga’s issues last week, a video was circulated soon after Bolton’s 5-2 win at Ipswich Town in which winger Dapo Afolayan was also targeted.

The matter was raised quickly by Ipswich to Suffolk Police, along with Kick it Out and the EFL and is now being dealt with as a legal matter.

Kachunga issued his own message to Bolton’s fanbase at the weekend, thanking them for their support over the last few days. He came off the bench in the second half at Ipswich to a huge cheer from the away end and was also visibly supported by his team-mates after the final whistle as his name was chanted by the crowd.

Evatt was proud of the way his squad has bonded together over the issue and is keen to see a resolution in the case.

“They’ve been excellent and we’ve all supported Kacha and rallied around him, and he’s been excellent as well,” he said.

“He’s a brilliant character. We think the world of him and as I said, as a society, we have to stop giving social media such importance. People can say and do what they want, truth or no truth, and there has to be accountability.

“Until there is, it’s only going to get worse, which is an absolute shame really to think about, because it upsets people. It upsets families. Kacha’s been supported all week and we know the police will catch the culprit, whoever has done that.”

Evatt was hugely encouraged by the response from Wanderers fans, both on the day in support of Kachunga at Portman Road, and then with the later issues over the weekend. And he believes the relationship between the players and supporters is now a key factor in the club’s continued success.

“It certainly isn’t a surprise to me,” he said. “This football club is an amazing place and it starts with our leader. Sharon is a fantastic woman and I think she has built an environment and a culture everybody is proud of and we are proud of.

“Our connection with our fanbase is outstanding and long may that continue.”

Wanderers will be holding their first Family Day this weekend for the visit of Rotherham United, where tickets have been reduced to £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

Sales at the start of the week have been very strong and it is hoped that the gate will eclipse the 16,087 the club got on the opening day of the season against MK Dons.

The last time the UniBol held more than 20,000 supporters was when former Bolton player Lukas Jutkiewicz scored a winner for Birmingham City in front of 21.097 in April 2018.