Football is a sport that captures the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. It is a game that thrives on passion and emotion, and social media has allowed fans to connect with each other like never before. However, this passion can sometimes spill over into abuse, and players and officials are often the targets of online trolls. This abuse can be devastating for players and their families, and it has no place in football.
The men’s tournament in Qatar saw some of the world’s finest footballers come together to compete for the title. It was a time of excitement and anticipation for fans across the globe. However, it also exposed a darker side of football that has been prevalent for far too long. Nearly 20,000 social media posts were abusive, discriminatory, or threatening during the tournament, with the quarter-final between England and France seeing the largest spike in abuse. This level of abuse is unacceptable, and thankfully, the Social Media Protection Service (SMPS) was in place to protect players from this online abuse.
The SMPS is a joint effort between FIFA and FIFPRO, which identifies and reports perpetrators of online abuse to the authorities. Discrimination is a criminal act, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino has made it clear that it will not be tolerated. The SMPS uses two layers of human analysis and specialist artificial intelligence to monitor and moderate hate speech on social media. It identifies and flags abusive comments, and even automatically limits the visibility of harmful content. This service helps to punish perpetrators of online abuse and hide harmful content from the players.
The SMPS is not just a reactive service; it also helps to prevent abuse from happening in the first place. It is being offered to all teams at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which will take place in Australia and New Zealand. Several teams in this year’s Women’s World Cup have already agreed to implement the moderation element of the service immediately.
Of the identifiable abuse during the men’s tournament, 36% came from South America, and 38% came from accounts based in Europe. This shows that online abuse is a global problem that needs to be addressed. The SMPS is not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction. It shows that FIFA and FIFPRO are taking online abuse seriously and are committed to protecting players from harm. The service is designed to be flexible and adaptable, so it can evolve as new forms of online abuse emerge.
Football is a global sport that brings people together from all walks of life. It is a beautiful game that is loved by millions of fans worldwide. However, football also has a dark side that needs to be addressed. Online abuse has been a problem in football for far too long, and it is time for action to be taken. The SMPS is a vital step in the right direction, but there is still much work to be done.
The SMPS is a service that is desperately needed in football. It provides players with a safe environment to compete in, free from the fear of online abuse. The service is designed to be flexible and adaptable, so it can evolve as new forms of online abuse emerge. It is a vital tool in the fight against online abuse in football, and it is reassuring to see FIFA and FIFPRO taking this issue seriously.
The men’s tournament in Qatar may have exposed the darker side of football, but it also highlighted the need for better protection for players online. With the SMPS in place, players can focus on what they do best – playing football. The SMPS is a joint effort between FIFA and FIFPRO that identifies and reports perpetrators of online abuse to the authorities. It is a much-needed tool in the fight against online abuse in football and will be offered to all teams at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The SMPS is not only a reactive service but also a preventive measure that aims to stop online abuse before it happens. Its implementation in the upcoming Women’s World Cup shows the commitment of FIFA and FIFPRO in ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for all players. The service is expected to evolve and adapt to new forms of online abuse, making it a valuable tool in the ongoing fight against online abuse in football.
Football is a game that should be enjoyed by all, and players should not have to endure online abuse. The SMPS is a vital step towards creating a safer and more inclusive environment for all players. It is time for action to be taken to address the dark side of football and ensure that players can focus on what they do best – playing the beautiful game.