Stats Perform has partnered with data-ethics specialist company Signify Group, as part of its pledge to develop a monitoring system to reduce social media abuse across sports.

The sports tech and sports data provider will collaborate with Signify to help tackle and reduce online abuse, as governments, sporting bodies and athletes increasingly call for platforms and online publishers to eradicate online attacks.

Earlier this year, a number of national and international sporting organisations – including UEFA, the FA, the Premier League, the English Football League (EFL), the FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship – joined a social media boycott in protest against online racism and abuse.

As part of the partnership, Stats Perform will work to enhance Signify’s ‘Threat Matrix system – used to detect online abuse on a real-time scale – by leveraging its AI sports innovation and intelligence capabilities.

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

“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.”

Stats Perform aims to support sports rights holders, teams, player associations, governing bodies and international federations by enhancing the Threat Matrix service, using a tool to unmask abusers and identify trends as well as the tactics and technology used to send and share hateful content and messages via social media.

Furthermore, Threat Matrix will be integrated to Stats Perform’s sports monitoring portfolio, and will cater for proactive monitoring of millions of open-source social media posts across a multitude of platforms.  

Signify underscored that the Threat Matrix system had been built over the past two-years, engineered on an “evidence-based and defensible expert approach to the screening and assessment of inappropriate, threatening and unwanted communications directed at public figures”.

The system  has been applied by FIFA and Premier League clubs to investigate online hate aimed at players, whilst the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) used Threat Matrix to analyse over six million tweets throughout the 2021/22 season, resulting in thousands of posts removed and accounts banned from the social media platform.

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

“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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