After carrying out a range of new initiatives across its digital and social media, Sky Sports has strengthened its commitment to addressing online harassment and hatred across its platforms.
More than 40 million users currently participate on digital and social media networks on Sky Sports’ channels, which the broadcaster said ‘have seen an increase in hateful comments based on colour, color, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, faith, sexuality, age and class.’
Sky Sports has committed to the following actions as of this week:
- Using the power of its reach and voice to highlight the scale of online hate and abuse and the damage that it can inflict upon people
- Removing as many abusive and hateful comments posted on skysports.com and our channels on social media platforms as we can;
- Blocking users using hateful speech on digital and social media platforms
- Reporting hate and abuse to the social media platforms; and in the most serious cases, to the relevant authorities
- Commissioning journalism that ‘shines a light on social injustices and inequality in sport’.
- Working with social media platforms and policymakers to make their platforms safer and more respectful
Mark Alford, Director of Sky Sports News & Digital Publishing, 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 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.”
Micah Richards, Sky Sports Analyst, 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.”