A police investigation has been launched into claims a high profile tech entrepreneur was racially abused online.

Joey Xoto, co-founder of fast-growing SaaS animation firm Viddyoze, claims he was racially abused on social media.

Mr Xoto, who launched Preston-based Viddyoze in 2015 alongside Jamie Garside and David Chamberlain, says he was subjected to vile racist abuse in response to a Facebook post he made.

He turned the tables on his alleged abuser by sharing details of what was said on his own social media platforms and reported the matter to the police.

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: “We can confirm we’ve received a report of malicious communications.  An investigation is underway and enquiries (are) ongoing.”

Mr Xoto said there was no room for any type of prejudice in society and called on the tech giants to do more to stamp it out.

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“If a woman was on the street and got abused would we ignore it?” he asked. “Quite rightly the answer is ‘no’ so we shouldn’t just brush off online abuse.

“People need to realise that you can’t just make comments and hide. Being attacked simply because of the colour of your skin is wrong.

“I decided that I wasn’t going to sit back and accept it. I’m just one person it has happened to so I’ve taken screenshots of what was said and passed them on the police.”

Mr Xoto, who was a joint winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Northern Tech Awards 2021, said the tech giants responsible for social media platforms had a part to play.

He’s previously refused to stop fronting up company videos after being targeting by racists.

“There should be a button on the website that says something like ‘report to police’,” he said. “It should be investigated straight away. That would be a big deterrent.

“I’ve got a thick skin but how would a vulnerable 16-year-old react? It could push them over the edge. There’s no place for this in 2022.”