Key element of UEFA’s new Respect programme helps to identify, report and remove discriminatory and abusive content.
Yesterday’s opening match at the UEFA Women’s EURO between England and Austria in Manchester marked the launch of a dedicated platform to monitor, report and remedy cases of online abuse.
The new platform is one of three key pillars in a new Respect programme focused on tackling abuse, and works through a combination of automated scanning and human review.
Throughout each of our final competitions, including youth, women’s and men’s matches for the next three years, European football’s governing body will work to ensure that harmful content is removed, and are working directly with major social media platforms such as Twitter, Meta [Instagram and Facebook] and TikTok.
Around the England-Austria match on Wednesday, 41 abusive posts were identified, 28 of which were reported to social media platforms for removal. Abusive content related to sexism (46%), hate speech (44%) and homophobia (10%), targeting women’s football (38%), the teams (31%), and the players (31%), while no relevant content was identified for referees and coaches.
UEFA is also liaising closely on this matter with participating teams, briefing them following each match, and engages in frequent dialogue with social platforms on available steps to protect players, referees, and officials from online abuse.
A first comprehensive summary of online abuse cases and interventions will be published at the end of the UEFA Women’s EURO group stage.
What else is UEFA doing to raise awareness of online abuse?
The new Real Scars campaign highlights the devastating effects of online abuse directed at football players, coaches and officials across social media platforms and educate them on how to best defend themselves against such abuse.
Later this month, a new ‘Outraged’ documentary series, which discusses discrimination and abuse, will be launched on UEFA.tv and via UEFA broadcasters. One of the five parts of the series’ topics will be online abuse.