A new survey released on Tuesday claims that Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United were the two players who received the most abusive tweets last season.
Football players in the Premier League received abusive tweets to the extent that nearly three-quarters of them reported receiving such messages every day.
An analysis of 2.3 million tweets sent to Premier League players over the first five months of the 2021–22 season was conducted by The Alan Turing Institute and Ofcom using new machine-learning technology.
68% of players in the top flight received at least one message during that time, according to the report, which revealed 60,000 posts that were judged abusive.
According to the survey, one in every fourteen players daily got abusive tweets, with 12 players, who on average received 15 each day, receiving half of all such messages.
Marcus Rashford, also a player of Manchester United, had the third-highest total with 2,557, receiving 12,520 abusive tweets, compared to Maguire’s 8,954 and Ronaldo’s 12,520.
The top 10 list included eight Manchester United players. Only two players from teams other than Manchester United made the top 10, captain Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur and Jack Grealish of Manchester City.
Tottenham players as a team had the highest overall rate of abusive tweets, at 3.7 percent.
However, the majority of tweets, 57 percent were complimentary about players, so it wasn’t all bad news.
A Twitter official responded by saying the social media platform appreciated the study but added that a number of safety mechanisms had been added to prevent such tweets from reaching specific people.
According to Dr. Bertie Vidgen, the report’s principal author and Head of Online Safety at The Alan Turing Institute, these sobering statistics reveal the extent to which footballers are subjected to degrading abuse on social media.
The Alan Turing Institute and Ofcom must combat online harassment, despite the fact that doing so is challenging. To ensure that players can perform their duties free from harassment, more must be done to stop the worst types of content.