BT’s new campaign highlights the staggering rise in online abuse

BT Sport is today launching ‘Draw The Line’ – a new campaign to tackle online hate and abuse.

The aim of the campaign is to “address the problem by raising awareness of the impact of online hate and advocating change”.

BT says it will spotlight the issue across its platforms, and its social teams will delete, block or report hate and abuse seen on its channels.

It will also implement an Anti Online Abuse Policy.

YouGov research (which was commissioned by BT) shows that more than one in ten people, out of 4,000 people surveyed, have received online abuse over the last 12 months.

16% of all 18-34 year-olds have experienced abuse, and half the population have seen online abuse in the past year.

It also found that one in seven people believe those working in the public eye should expect abuse.

The campaign has been supported by Glitch, a charity that works to end the abuse of women and marginalised people online.

The charity has helped to develop an AI Abuse tracker tool for Twitter, which has shown that three in 10 abusive tweets were sent before kick-off in high profile matches that were tracked.

They also say that there was a 65% increase in religious abuse and a 45% increase in sexual orientation abuse.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer Division, said: “For too long we have just accepted that hate online is the norm.

“Today we are launching Draw the Line – a campaign on BT Sport which marks the start of a BT focus on tackling social media abuse.

“We’re working on building a better understanding of what we don’t see, by using technology to build a more accurate picture of the scale of the problem.

“Over the next few months, you will see our own social teams proactively respond, delete, block or report hate speech and the abuse we see on our channels.”

More details about the ‘Draw the Line’ campaign can be found on www.bt.com/drawtheline.

BT take part in social media blackout

BT Sport are also taking part in the social media blackout that is scheduled to begin today at 3pm UK time, and end on Monday May 3 at 11:59pm UK time.

The blackout aims to combat online hate and abuse.

All Premier League, EFL, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship clubs, as well as television broadcasters and sponsors with links to sport, are taking part.

Organisations and clubs from cycling, cricket, rugby and tennis, amongst other sports, are also participating in the blackout.

It is the first time a social media blackout has been organised on such a large scale. Championship clubs Swansea City and Birmingham City, as well as Scottish side Rangers, took part in a week-long blackout earlier in April.

Featured Image Credit: BT