Online abuse: a new study reveals which footballers are subjected to the most abuse on Twitter
Just a dozen players received half of all abusive tweets, and eight of the top ten were all Manchester United players and Abused footballers on twitter, suggesting that the club’s popularity skews statistics when considered in terms of volume alone.
A new report has revealed the scale of abuse against Premier League footballers on Twitter amid concerns about racist and hostile messages on social media.
The study analyzed more than 2.3 million tweets directed at Premier League players during the first five months of the 2021-22 season and found that almost 60,000 were abusive.
It also revealed that 418 of the 618 gamers analyzed — two-thirds — received at least one abusive tweet, with 8% of that abuse targeting a protected characteristic like race or gender.
Some of the abuse was sent after the Euro 2020 final, in which England lost the final on penalties to Italy, and where there was much discussion about the role anonymous accounts played.
England manager Gareth Southgate said much of the abuse originated from abroad, although Twitter countered that “the UK was by far the largest country of origin” for racist abuse directed at English footballers.
The social media company added that 99% of the accounts it suspended for abuse were not anonymous, though it did not disclose how many accounts were suspended.
According to the new study, most users who send abusive tweets to gamers are not necessarily hiding behind anonymous accounts, as they are also active Abused footballers on twitter on the platform for other reasons and also regularly send non-abusive tweets to gamers.