Stats Perform has pledged to develop a sophisticated monitoring system to help tackle and reduce social media abuse witnessed across all sports markets.
The sportstech company has partnered with data-ethics specialist Signify Group to establish a new headline partnership, benefiting global sports and media stakeholders.
The collaboration launches as governments, athletes and sporting bodies call for social media platforms and online publishers to take drastic actions to eradicate abuse.
“Stats Perform recognises that the sports integrity field needs to expand to include an increased focus on this issue, especially given its impact on sport and its participants,” read Stats Perform’s call to action.
“As a result, our Integrity Unit will be partnering with Signify to address the issue head-on, leveraging AI and Machine Learning to monitor and identify abuse in real-time.”
Stats Perform aims to leverage its AI sports innovation and intelligence to enhance the monitoring capabilities of Signify’s ‘Threat Matrix’ to detect online abuse at a real-time scale.
The project aims to expand Threat Matrix services to support sports rights holders, teams, player associations, international federations, and governing bodies, with a tool to unmask abusers and identify trends, tactics and technology used to send hate online.
“Our Integrity work at Stats Perform focuses on the protection of sport and that includes athletes and other participants,” remarked Stats Perform CEO Carl Mergele,
“Sports are under increasing pressure from fans and sponsors to demonstrate moral and social responsibility and our partnership with Signify Group will see the deployment of game-changing AI to protect players, athletes and officials from online racist, homophobic, sexist and other abuse.
“We are very proud to bring this offering to our clients and it blends perfectly with our approach to sport integrity and our wider ESG commitments.”
Added to Stats Perform’s sports monitoring portfolio, Threat Matrix caters for proactive monitoring of millions of open-source social media posts across a multitude of platforms.
Existing capabilities include image and emoji recognition, as well as identification of abusive words, terms and profanities in multiple languages.
Threat Matrix developer Signify underscored that the system had been built over the past two-years, engineered on an “evidence-based and defensible expert approach to the screening and assessment of inappropriate, threatening and unwanted communications directed at public figures”.
Signify’s monitoring system has been applied by FIFA and Premier League clubs to investigate online hate aimed at players.
Additionally, the Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA) used Threat Matrix to undertake the most comprehensive study of its kind examining online abuse, conducting analysis of over six million tweets over the 2020-21 season – which saw thousands of posts removed and accounts banned from the social media platform.
Jonathan Hirshler, Signify CEO, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Stats Perform to offer Threat Matrix to their unrivalled portfolio of clients.
“The combination of Stats Perform’s sports industry expertise and Threat Matrix’s bespoke AI-powered proactive monitoring and analysis capabilities provides sports stakeholders with an industry leading solution to help protect their athletes and staff from online threat and discriminatory abuse.”