Coe: ‘Alarming’ level of abuse found in Tokyo Olympics social media study

Coe: 'Alarming' level of abuse found in Tokyo Olympics social media study

About three in 20 track and field athletes whose social media pages were monitored in a study at the Tokyo Olympics were subjected to abusive comments, and women were targeted in more than 85% of those posts, according to the disclosed results. Thursday by the global sport regulator.

World Athletics revealed the observations collected from more than 240,000 Twitter comments relating to 161 athletes who competed in the Tokyo Olympics this year. Of these, 132 were found to be abusive and 65% of them were “seriously abusive,” according to the standards set out in the study.

Twenty-three of the 161 athletes whose accounts were monitored were targets of abuse, and 16 of those 23 were women.

“This research is alarming in so many ways, but what strikes me the most is that the abuse is directed at individuals who celebrate and share their performances and talents as a way to inspire and motivate people,” said the President of World Athletics , Sebastian Coe, in a press release.

The study found that 63% of the abuse identified was directed at just two athletes, who were black and female, and that the two most common categories of abuse were sexist (29%) and / or racist (26%) in nature.

American athletes were the target of 89% of racist abuse, despite representing only 23% of the athletes studied.

“More and more evidence indicates that this is driven by a huge increase in prejudice against race, gender and social status,” said Max Siegel, USA Track & Field president, in the statement. “Basically, this kind of behavior is deplorable and completely unacceptable.”

The study comes after the launch of the World Athletics Protection Policy, which the federation described as implementing “a process to protect vulnerable people, children and adults from harassment, abuse and exploitation. [y] create a safe and welcoming environment where everyone involved is respected and valued. “

In a press release outlining the results of the social media study, World Athletics said the data provides a basis “to work more closely with social media platforms to address this issue.”

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