Stats Perform Teams-Up With Signify Group To Combat Online Abuse

Stats Perform has committed to creating a robust monitoring system to combat and eliminate social media misuse in all sports markets.

The sportstech business has formed a new headline relationship with data-ethics specialist Signify Group, which will benefit global sports and media stakeholders.

Governments, sportsmen, and sporting groups have called for social media companies and online publishers to take urgent measures to combat abuse.

The call to action from Stats Perform reads: “Stats Perform recognises that the sports integrity field needs to expand to include an increased focus on this issue, especially given its impact on sport and its participants.

“As a result, our Integrity Unit will be partnering with Signify to address the issue head-on, leveraging AI and Machine Learning to monitor and identify abuse in real-time.”

AI sports innovation

Stats Perform wants to employ its AI sports innovation and intelligence to improve Signify’s ‘Threat Matrix’ monitoring capabilities for detecting online abuse on a real-time scale.

The goal of the project is to expand Threat Matrix’s services to include a tool to expose abusers and uncover trends, tactics, and technology used to spread hate online for sports rights holders, clubs, player organisations, international federations, and governing bodies.

Stats Perform CEO Carl Mergele said: “Our Integrity work at Stats Perform focuses on the protection of sport and that includes athletes and other participants,” remarked Stats Perform CEO Carl Mergele,

“Sports are under increasing pressure from fans and sponsors to demonstrate moral and social responsibility and our partnership with Signify Group will see the deployment of game-changing AI to protect players, athletes and officials from online racist, homophobic, sexist and other abuse.

“We are very proud to bring this offering to our clients and it blends perfectly with our approach to sport integrity and our wider ESG commitments.”

Proactive monitoring

Threat Matrix, which has been added to Stats Perform’s sports monitoring portfolio, allows for proactive monitoring of millions of open-source social media posts across many platforms.

Image and emoji recognition are already available, as well as the detection of abusive words, terms, and profanities in many languages.

The system was constructed over the course of two years, according to Signify, and is based on a “evidence-based and defensible expert approach to the screening and assessment of inappropriate, threatening, and unwanted communications directed at public figures.”

Football

FIFA and Premier League clubs have used Signify’s surveillance system to examine internet abuse directed at players.

Additionally, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) used Threat Matrix to conduct the most comprehensive study of its kind examining online abuse, analysing over six million tweets during the 2020-21 season, resulting in the removal of thousands of posts and the banning of accounts from the social media platform.

Jonathan Hirshler, CEO of Signify, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Stats Perform to offer Threat Matrix to their unrivalled portfolio of clients.

“The combination of Stats Perform’s sports industry expertise and Threat Matrix’s bespoke AI-powered proactive monitoring and analysis capabilities provides sports stakeholders with an industry leading solution to help protect their athletes and staff from online threat and discriminatory abuse.” 

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