BBC Sport has a social media following of more than 33 million users worldwide, across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We have a responsibility to try to make our accounts and our community a safe place for discussion, debate and opinion.
BBC Sport online has conducted a survey of British elite sportswomen and found almost a third had experienced social media abuse – double the figure from the last survey five years ago.
We felt we could not report on this statistic without looking at what more we could do in the comments sections of our posts.
We analysed our options, within the limited powers social media companies provide for account holders to tackle hate speech on their platforms, and have drawn up a new policy for how we will respond to it.
The following statement outlines our stance and will be posted on all our channels from Monday, 10 August 2020:
To all BBC Sport social media followers.
The BBC exists for all of us, so it should represent all of us.
That means BBC Sport covers a wide range of sports and stories.
But, as we do that, our comments sections on social media can often attract hateful messages.
We want our platforms to be a respectful place for discussion, constructive criticism, debate and opinion.
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We know the vast majority of you – our 33 million social media followers – want that too.
So here’s what we’re doing:
- We will block people bringing hate to our comments sections;
- We will report the most serious cases to the relevant authorities;
- We will work to make our accounts kind and respectful places;
- We will keep growing our coverage of women’s sports, and keep covering issues and discussions around equality in sport.
We also want your help.
If you see a reply to BBC Sport posts with an expression of hate on the basis of race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, sex, age or class please flag the URL to the post in question by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Hate won’t stop us in our goal of representing all of us.
Together we will strive to make our social media accounts a safe space for everyone.
- Sportswomen tell BBC survey about ‘scary’ social media abuse
- Three sportswomen speak about their experiences of social media trolling
- Survey results in full
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