FIFA offers tools to fight social media abuse

FIFA said Tuesday that social media tools that are designed to protect players from online abuse will now be available to all 211 member associations and teams.

"Hate speech and abusive content on social media can have a significant impact on players, affecting mental health, performance, and their friends and families," it said in a statement.

"FIFA’s priority is to protect players and make football a safe space, so to mark the International Day for Countering Hate Speech on 18 June, FIFA is reinforcing this commitment, having extended access to the Social Media Protection Service (SMPS) to all 211 FIFA Member Associations (MAs) earlier this year," it added.

The world’s football governing body also said the tools are available to member associations outside of FIFA competitions, and many teams competing at UEFA EURO 2024 and the CONMEBOL Copa América 2024 have joined the SMPS, which is part of FIFA’s No Discrimination campaign.

The Social Media Protection Service analyzed 30 million posts and comments from 3,381 player and 160 team accounts across 11 FIFA events, including tournaments, qualifiers and friendlies since it was launched at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

The service also hid 2.6 million abusive comments from public view, protecting the intended target from potential psychological harm.