The Manchester United duo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire, were the most bullied players on Twitter last season. This was revealed in a report published on Tuesday (2/8).
Nearly three-quarters of English Premier League footballers receive abusive messages and some of them even receive them every day.
The report, carried out by the Alan Turing Institute and Ofcom, using new machine-learning technology, analyzed 2.3 million messages sent to Premier League players during the first five months of the 2021-2022 season.
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There were 60,000 uploads that could be called a rough one, with 68% of the top players receiving at least one message in that period.
One in 14 players receive abusive tweets every day, according to the report. While half of all abusive messages were addressed to 12 players who received an average of 15 messages per day.
Ronaldo received 12,520 harsh tweets while Maguier received 8,954. Marcus Rashford, also a Manchester United player, got 2,557 in the top three.
Eight United players also made it into the top ten.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane, who is also England captain, and Manchester City’s Jack Grealish, are the only two non-MU players in the top ten.
“These striking findings reveal the extent to which footballers have been subjected to vicious harassment on social media,” said Bertie Vidgen, lead author of the report and Head of Online Safety at The Alan Turing Institute.
While dealing with online harassment is difficult, we can’t just let it go. More needs to be done to stop the worst forms of content to ensure that players can do their jobs without being subjected to harassment.”
However, the report also said that, not only bad news, 57% of positive tweets were directed at footballers.
A Twitter spokesperson, quoted by the BBC, said they welcomed the study, but said they had implemented a number of security features to stop such posts from being directed at individuals.
“We are committed to fighting harassment and, as noted in our Hateful Conduct Policy, we do not tolerate harassment or humiliation of anyone based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation,” the Twitter spokesperson said. (Ant/OL-1)