A project by FIFA and FIFPRO, utilizing artificial intelligence, has successfully tracked instances of social media abuse directed at players participating in the 2022 World Cup. The project identified over 300 individuals responsible for making abusive, discriminatory, or threatening posts on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube. These individuals' information has been handed over to law enforcement authorities.
The final report highlighted the escalating violence and threats, with players' families becoming targets and facing intimidation if they returned to specific countries, whether it be their representative nation or their club's location.
Over 20 million posts and comments were scanned, resulting in more than 19,000 abusive instances being flagged. Out of those, over 13,000 were reported to Twitter for appropriate action. FIFA stated that 38% of the identifiable abuse originated from accounts based in Europe, while 36% came from South America.
FIFA has decided to disclose the identities of the 300+ individuals responsible for the abusive posts to relevant member associations and law enforcement authorities, facilitating necessary real-world actions against the offenders. FIFA President Gianni Infantino emphasized that discrimination is a criminal act, and the project aims to hold perpetrators accountable by reporting them to the authorities. He called on social media platforms to fulfill their responsibilities and support the fight against all forms of discrimination.