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FIFA will use AI to detect social media abuse targeting players


Andre Cohen

FIFA and FIFPRO, the international union of professional footballers, will launch a service to detect hate speech on social networks during international tournaments. The service will monitor posts on social media platforms that are sent to accounts of participating teams, players, coaches and referees at a tournament. It will be launched in time for the November start of the Men’s World Cup in Qatar.

The monitoring service will be programmed to scan recognized hate speech terms on social media at international men’s and women’s tournaments. Once an abusive post is detected, the comment will no longer be visible to the tagged recipient and their followers. Offensive messages will remain visible to the person who sent the message, allowing FIFA and FIFPRO to potentially report account activity to the social media company and law enforcement authorities.

FIFA recently released a report that used artificial intelligence to track more than 400,000 social media posts sent during the semi-finals and finals of the men’s UEFA Euro 2020 and Africa Cup tournaments. des Nations 2021. It was found that more than 50% of the players participating in the tournaments had been victims of discriminatory abuse on social networks.

The report claims that a significant amount of abusive messages were sent from accounts located in the country of origin of the player referred, and that homophobic (40%) and racist (38%) comments made up the majority of the comments reported. . The FIFA study also found that 90% of accounts flagged for posting abusive messages have a “high probability” of identifying the person behind the account.


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