Disgusted Derek McInnes has urged social media companies to take a stand against online abuse after Hibs defender Ryan Porteous was targeted.

The 22-year-old was dismissed for a challenge on Joe Aribo during the Easter Road side's 2-1 Premiership defeat to Rangers earlier in October.

The decision at Ibrox sparked a debate among pundits and managers alike, but boss Jack Ross revealed the extent of the vile messages sent to the Scotland youth cap.

The Hibs manager said Porteous had "people telling him they hope he dies of a tumour", as well as being targeted with homophobic and sectarian slurs.

McInnes - speaking in his Mail On Sunday column insisted more has to be done to protect players - revealing he banned phones from the Pittodrie dressing room while at Aberdeen.

The 50-year-old explained that he encouraged players to avoid social media platforms all together due to the impact it can have on individuals.

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He called for a more thorough process that will hold individuals accountable rather than hiding behind anoymous profiles.

McInnes wrote: "It exposes players and, indeed, managers to so many people who you don't need in your life.

"We are in an industry where we are constantly scrutinised and judged. That's the way it is.

"But while everybody has a democratic right to voice their opinion, it often goes well beyond the critique of a matchday performance.

"What happened with Porteous did not stop at making a judgment on a tackle made in the league match against Rangers earlier this month.

"It's perfectly valid to say that the Hibs defender made a rash challenge and should learn from his subsequent red card. But the screenshots highlighted by Jack containing sectarian and homophobic abuse and even a reference to cancer were just abhorrent.

PERTH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 12: BBC pundit Derek McInnes arrived ahead of a UEFA Europa League 2nd Leg Qualifer between St Johnstone and Galatasaray at McDiarmid Park, on August 12, 2021, in Perth, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

"This is a 22-year-old footballer. I've felt the same as Jack on so many occasions, that I wanted to defend my players when they were taking an unnecessary amount of abuse.

"At Aberdeen, we had a system where our social-media team would let me know if any of the players had been abused online.

"I wanted to know what they had to deal with. I didn't want to walk by them in the corridor ignorant to what they were experiencing.

"We had team meetings every season when I encouraged the players not to be on social media full stop.

"To think there are grown adults, people who have children of their own, saying some of this stuff makes me despair.

"Listen, we are in professional sport. It can't be all fluffy and sugar-coated. It's hard. You have to be tough. It tests you. But when the abuse goes to a certain level, that is not on the player. People need to make that distinction.

"People can go on to social media and spread lies. They can insinuate things, say stuff that is nasty and vile but too often there is no culpability, no recourse. Often it's done with anonymity.

"People should be accountable for anything said on a public forum. Yet so many of these accounts are registered under false names."