Smart Plays: Combatting online abuse with AI
In each episode of Smart Plays, Tarik and special guests will be tackling difficult social issues in sport and exploring our capacity for positive social change. In this episode, we speak with Matt Von der Muhll about how to tackle the problem of online abuse using the power of Artificial Intelligence.
Abuse on social media is a growing issue for athletes and sports brands. According to Australia’s eSafety Commissioner:
- Online abuse is often racist, with first Nations players three times more likely to be targetted with online hate.
- Women were more likely to receive misogynistic abuse that is often sexualised and violent, with much of it going directly to a players personal pages.
- LGBTQI folks and people with a disability are 3 times more likely to be targeted.
While social media has enabled people from all walks of life to speak up, it’s also, paradoxically, suppressing these varieties of voices, with many removing their online presence or at least modifying their content to fall in line with standards that generate less hate.
In this episode, we speak with Matt Von der Muhll about how to tackle this problem using the power of Artificial Intelligence. He works with Respondology, an online platform that connects with social media profiles to automatically hide abusive posts before they can be seen by the public.
Big sporting brands such as FIFA, Premier League, NBA and other leagues and associations are all grappling with the negative impacts of online abuse to their players and brand image. Marketing staff at these organisations are continually subjected to abuse which requires constant vigilance and valuable time spent hiding and deleting abusive comments and images.
We want to truly understand why people direct abusive comments online and to change the behaviour along the way. But in the meantime, the unregulated “wild west” of social media rages on. So, how can we shield players, clubs, leagues and associations from harmful comments that can negatively affect personal brand, reputation, livelihood, and mental well-being?