Social media discrimination findings for 2015/16 published
Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, has published new research to coincide with the launch of the organisation’s #KlickItOut campaign, to raise awareness around football-related discrimination on social media.
The research, conducted by Brandwatch, a world leading social intelligence and analytics company, focuses on discriminatory messages directed at Premier League clubs, their fans and players during the 2015/16 season.
Carried out in co-ordination with Kick It Out, the research covers all forms of discrimination and looks at the volume of messages issued across publicly accessible social media sources, forums and websites using Brandwatch Analytics.
After first receiving social media discrimination reports in 2012/13, the organisation received advice from the Crown Prosecution Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers, and started reporting the incidents to True Vision – a national reporting facility which had been developed to deal with hate crime online.
The challenge for Kick It Out was, and still is, that incidents occurring on social media do not fall under any football regulation, unless it can be proved that the individual involved is a participant under English football jurisdiction.
This means the organisation cannot use its normal route of reporting. Kick It Out realised that much of the abuse happening online was left unchallenged, and therefore took steps towards implementing a structure to deal with complaints.
In April 2015, research was published which, for the first time, revealed the true extent of online discrimination towards clubs and players in the top tier of English football.
The findings identify the most common forms of discrimination posted across social media towards clubs and players, and the regularity with which this occurs.
The research was conducted to measure the volume of discriminatory posts mentioning all Premier League clubs and players between August 2015 and May 2016. Therefore, the figures shown below are to be considered as the best estimate of ‘direct abuse’ only.
The estimated instances of discriminatory abuse amount to approximately 134.2K.
The Premier League clubs receiving the highest volume of discriminatory posts are as follows:
Manchester United: 16K
Tottenham Hotspur: 6K
Types of discrimination
The distribution of the messages when broken into the different categories of discrimination read as follows:
Sexual Orientation (15%)
Gender Reassignment (1%)
The two players who received the highest volume of discriminatory posts is as follows:
Diego Costa – 5,476
Raheem Sterling – 2,674
A look at the gender distribution of discriminatory mentions reveals a large proportion of discrimination from men. 69% of mentions come from men and 24% originate from women (7% was unknown)
The three cities with the highest volume of discriminatory posts were London (40%), Manchester (19%) and Liverpool (14%).
Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur
The match on the 2 May 2016 at Stamford Bridge generated 1,646 discriminatory mentions from social media users, more than any other Premier League match in 2015/16. 47% of all discriminatory mentions posted on that day were contained antisemitism. Mentions peaked at 9pm when new discriminatory mentions were posted every 10 seconds.
Here is the extent of discriminatory abuse used in relation to Premier League clubs and players in 2015/16.
134,221 discriminatory posts
667 per day
One new post every 2 minutes
Kick It Out, alongside Brandwatch, will continue to analyse online discrimination towards players at Euro 2016 as part of the #KlickItOut campaign, which looks to raise awareness of football-related social media discrimination.
For further information on the organisation’s #KlickItOut campaign click here.