Hope I don’t hate: England women’s football team benefit from positive social media posts | social media

The vast majority of social media posts aimed at England’s Euro 2022 triumphant female football players over a three-month period have been positive, research shows.

The study of 78,141 posts on Twitter, Reddit and the image website 4chan identified more than 50,000 positive posts – roughly one “hate” post for every 125 “hopeful” posts.

About 380 were categorized as sexist or homophobic, while the rest were negative or neutral.

Professor Matthew Williams, director of Cardiff University’s HateLab, who carried out the analysis, said: “Last year we saw horrific racist abuse directed at individual players after the men’s team of England lost on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

“In the Women’s Euro we found significantly fewer posts aimed at individual England players, which is perhaps unexpected but may reflect the different audience for the game and the positive sentiment around the team’s success.

“The nature of the 380 posts we identified was concerning, including attempts to dismiss the success of women’s football, players being told in some of the less offensive posts to ‘go back to the kitchen’ or ‘make a sandwich’ “, and suggestions of women shouldn’t play football. There were also grossly offensive posts that made sexual references. It’s surprising that most of these posts remain live on the platforms.

The study developed new algorithms to analyze thousands of English messages sent from May 2 to August 1.

Researchers found that England players received 50,422 positive posts over the 13-week period. The highest number was in last month’s final against Germany, where England won 2-1 after extra time to lift their first major women’s tournament – and only the second in England’s history.

A total of 380 posts were identified as sexist hate speech, following a similar trend over time to positive content, and culminating in 93 posts in the finale.

By comparison, after England’s penalty in last year’s Euro 2020 final loss to Italy at Wembley, 920 racist messages were identified every hour. at the top of communications on Twitter.

Analysis of hate messages against women revealed that most were misogynistic (96%) and 4% homophobic.

Williams said: “Governments and social media companies need to go further, but ultimately, until the majority of users on these platforms become advocates of hate instead of bystanders, there is little We are likely to see hateful abuse eradicated from our online spaces.”

In June, a report by Fifa, the game’s world governing body, and FifPro, the global players’ union, used artificial intelligence to track more than 400,000 posts on social media platforms during the semi-finals. -finals and this year’s Euro 2020 and Africa final. Nations Cup.

The study found that more than half of the players involved experienced some form of discrimination.

Much of the abuse came from their country of origin, with 40% of it homophobic in nature and 38% racist in nature – and most remained visible.

Fifa and FifPro have announced a dedicated moderation service for tournaments in men’s and women’s football that will analyze recognized hate speech terms and block offensive messages from being seen by the intended recipient and their followers.

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