Sky Sports has announced a set of new measures coming into effect immediately to combat online abuse and hate across its platforms.
Over 40 million users engage on Sky Sports’ channels on digital and social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) which have seen a spike in hateful comments on the basis of race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, age and class.
Sky Sports says it is committed to inspiring change. To help tackle online hate Sky Sports has put in place a series of actions to counteract the behaviour of a minority of users.
Effective immediately, across its digital and social platforms, Sky Sports says it will commit to the following actions:
Director of Sky Sports News & Digital Publishing Mark Alford said: “We’re proud to talk about sport with more than 40 million users of Sky Sports social and digital platforms across the world. We love to see the passion for sport when we engage with sports fans discussing and debating subjects that mean so much to them. Unfortunately, there is a small minority who use digital platforms to post hate, abuse and profanity against our content and our people. This needs to stop. We would like the major social media companies to do more to stop harmful content on their platforms. They have the best tools and visibility to act against abusive or hateful comments and owe a duty of care to their users. The onus should be on the social media platforms to behave like responsible publishers.
“We commit to making skysports.com free from abuse, and will strive to make our channels on social media a safer space for all sports fans,” concluded Alford.
Sky Sports analyst Micah Richards added: “I have been a victim of racial abuse online as have so many others. It is – of course – horrible to receive and the negative impact such comments have can outweigh all the positive aspects of social media. These commitments are a positive step as large publishers like Sky Sports need to use their voice to address some of these issues, help educate and ultimately eradicate all forms of online abuse. “
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