New Data Reveals Extent of Online Abuse During the Women's World Cup

New Data Reveals Extent of Online Abuse During the Women's World Cup

FIFA has revealed that 1 in 5 players faced online abuse during the Women’s World Cup, with women athletes being 29% more likely to encounter online abuse compared to male players throughout the 2022 Men’s World Cup finals.

This latest research comes after the Women’s World Cup highlighted the importance of tackling online abuse. Coinciding with the Women’s World Cup, our service Report Harmful Content launched a campaign to raise awareness about how people can report online harassment and abuse they see during sports fixtures.

Latest Figures

The latest report by FIFA, the governing body for football, has revealed that over half of the abuse faced by female footballers was homophobic, sexual, and sexist content. The latest figures come after FIFA analysed over 5 million posts in different languages across a variety of social media platforms.

Due to an uptick in online abuse in sports, the Social Media Protection Service was developed by FIFA and FIFPRO for the 2022 Men’s World Cup, which was offered to many of the teams within the sport. During the Women’s World Cup, the protection tool hid nearly 117,000 comments across social media.

Out of those posts, over 150 female players were targeted with abusive messages, with the U.S and Argentinian teams receiving the most abuse. However, the final between Spain and England resulted in the highest spike in abuse, with over 6,500 comments being hidden by the Social Media Protection Service.

What is Online Harassment in Sport?

Online harassment in sports is a form of abuse that targets an individual (or a group of players). This content can often be used to mock an athlete’s skills or abilities but can also target their personal and private lives, including their families and friends.

Types of harassment can include discrimination, bullying, sexism, racism, hurtful language, sexual harassment, trolling, rumour spreading, and threats. Unfortunately, online abuse and harassment in sports is a very common issue and one that is constantly referred to in the media, with many players and organisations regularly speaking out against the harm it creates.   

How do I Report Online Harassment and Abuse in Sports?

Report Harmful Content has a dedicated page to support anyone who wants to report harmful content they see in sports, and also has a list of services that can support anyone who has been affected by discrimination and hate crimes within the sporting industry.

Find Out About Online Harassment and Abuse in Sport

If you are concerned about any harmful content online, you can get in touch with Report Harmful Content, which provides advice on the community guidelines and reporting processes for many of the biggest social media platforms.

Visit Report Harmful Content

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