Tracking abuse on Twitter against football players in the 2021-22 Premier League season

Published: 2 August 2022
Last updated: 16 March 2023
Ofcom @Ofcom· Aug 2

Online abuse against football players, and other public figures, is a growing concern. As Ofcom prepares for a new role overseeing online safety, we wanted to understand the problem of online abuse in more detail.

Ofcom @Ofcom· Aug 2

We commissioned The Alan Turing Institute to analyse more than 2.3 million tweets directed at Premier League footballers over the first five months of the 2021-22 season.

This allowed us to examine whether large-scale data analysis and machine learning techniques can shed light on the prevalence and nature of harmful content.

2.3 million tweets analysed  7 in 10 players have been targeted by abusive tweets  Abusive tweet sent every 4 minutes  50% of all abuse is directed at just 2% of players  1 in 14 targeted by abuse every day
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