FIFA and FIFPRO join forces to fight hate speech on social media

Reports highlight the issue of harassment on social media directed at players and coaches during international tournaments; FIFA ( and FIFPRO to launch a moderation tool to better protect participants; Educational support and mental health advice will be provided to players in upcoming FIFA tournaments.

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FIFA has published a independent report ( coinciding with the United Nations International Day to Fight Hate Speech on Saturday 18 June, highlighting the increasing level of harassment directed at footballers across social media platforms during international tournaments.

With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ kicking off in exactly five months time, FIFA will work with FIFPRO – the worldwide representative organization for professional footballers – to coordinate and implement plans on how to protect participating teams, players, officials and supporters from abuse in the media. social during its international tournaments.

The newly released report, which uses artificial intelligence to track more than 400,000 posts on social media platforms during the semi-final and final stages of two international competitions (UEFA EURO 2020 and Africa Cup of Nations 2021), has identified that more than 50% of the players received some forms of harassment are discriminatory, with much of that abuse emanating from the player’s home country. Homophobic (40%) and racist (38%) comments account for the majority of the harassment, most of which remains published to the account it was originally intended for.

In response, FIFA and FIFPRO will launch a moderation service in special tournaments in men’s and women’s football that will scan published hate speech terms into identified social media accounts, and once detected, prevent the comments from being viewed by recipients and their followers. . While the offending message remains visible to the person who made the first comment, its visibility and reach is significantly reduced.

The report also highlights that 90% of accounts flagged by research as having published these abusive comments have a high probability of identification, and since hidden comments will remain privately visible to FIFA and FIFPRO, it also means that the activity of those accounts can be escalated to social platforms. relevant authorities and law enforcement authorities so that further action can be taken.

“Our job is to protect football, and it starts with the players who bring so much joy and happiness to all of us with their exploits on the field of play,” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino. “Unfortunately, there is a growing trend where the percentage of posts on social media channels directed at players, coaches, match officials and the team itself is unacceptable, and this form of discrimination – like any form of discrimination – has no place in football. .”

The FIFA President added: “With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the FIFA World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 in sight, FIFA and FIFPRO recognize that it is important to take a stand and incorporate what is being monitored on social media with what is. monitored at the stadium. We want our actions to speak louder than our words and that is why we are taking concrete action to address issues head-on.

“This detection is not only to protect football and to avoid the damaging effects these posts can have, but also to educate current and future generations who are involved with our sport on social media as well as on the playing field. We hope that, by standing together on this issue, social media platforms will do the same and will actively support us to be part of the solution.”

“This collaboration recognizes football’s responsibility to protect players and other affected groups from the harassment they increasingly face in and around their workplace. This type of harassment has a huge impact on their personality, their family, their performance as well as on their overall well-being and mental health,” said FIFPRO President David Aganzo.

The FIFPRO president added: “Online abuse is a social issue and as an industry we cannot accept that this new form of harassment and discrimination affects many people including our players. Several players’ guilds have done an excellent job on this topic which, connected with us latest report launched ( in conjunction with other players’ guilds, gives us a lot of insight when approaching this issue going forward. Research like this report is vital, but must lead to action to provide prevention and cure. We are pleased that this collaboration with FIFA is a constructive step in this direction.”

Through this partnership, FIFA and FIFPRO will also develop educational support – including best practice advice for managing social media accounts – and mental health advice for all players participating in FIFA tournaments during 2022 and 2023 and will implement moderation services throughout the competition. .

Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of FIFA.

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FIFA and FIFPRO join forces to fight hate speech on social media

Source link FIFA and FIFPRO join forces to fight hate speech on social media

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