Abuse on social networks: Twitter takes the “easy” option, according to the Association of professional footballers
The Professional Footballers Association has called on Twitter to stop taking the “easy” option to tackle abuse against online players.
New research has shown a 48% increase in racist abuse sent to players on the social media platform in the second half of last season.
And the majority of the accounts that sent the abuse were still on Twitter as late as last month, he found.
“It’s easy to take feedback,” said PFA chief executive Maheta Molango.
“It’s not about removing comments, it’s about holding the people behind those accounts accountable. This report shows that, if we want to, there are ways to actually identify people and hold them accountable. “
There have been many calls within football for social media companies to take more action against discrimination on their platforms.
Earlier this year, clubs, players, athletes and a number of sports organizations participated in a four-day social media boycott to try to fight against abuse and discrimination.
Following England’s final Euro 2020 defeat to Italy, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were targeted by racist abuse online, leading to a Metropolitan Police investigation and the conviction, among others, of the Duke of Cambridge, the Football Association and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The PFA tasked data science firm Signify with conducting extensive research on Twitter throughout last season.
The organization said more than six million social media messages sent to current and former footballers in the Premier League, English Football League and Women’s Super League have been monitored. He reported 1,781 posts on 1,674 accounts to Twitter for sanction.
He also said there had been a 48% increase in unmoderated racist abuse online in the second half of last season.
The report also found:
- 44% of Premier League players have been victims of discriminatory abuse.
- 50% of abusive tweets came from UK accounts.
- 75% of the 359 accounts that sent explicitly racist abuse to players were still on the platform last month.
- 20% of all abuses detected were aimed at just four players.
- 33% of all abusive posts contained homophobic content.
- 1781 offensive tweets reported to Twitter for deletion.
- 10 accounts were considered to have exceeded the criminal threshold reported to police.
The report suggests that the platforms “focus on removing individual and offensive messages instead of holding those who write them accountable.”
The PFA presented a copy of its report to Twitter.
In response, Twitter said it did not have enough time before the post to conduct a thorough review.
He added that the report as a whole “does not fairly or fully reflect our work or accurately reflect the steps we have taken to improve the health of the conversation and proactively enforce our rules.”
“It is our top priority to keep everyone who uses Twitter safe and free from abuse,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
“While we have recently made progress in giving people greater control over managing their security, we know there is still work to be done.
“We are committed and continue to work with our valued football partners, to identify ways to collectively tackle this problem.
“We want to reiterate that abusive and hateful behavior has no place in our service and we will continue to take swift action against the minority who are trying to undermine the conversation for the majority.”
Watford captain and PFA player board representative Troy Deeney said: “Social media companies are big businesses with the best techs. If they were to find solutions to online abuse, they This report shows that they are choosing not to.
“When is it enough, enough? More needs to be done to hold these people accountable.”