BBC Sport introduces new social media policy

Simon Austin's picture

BBC Sport, which has a social media following of more than 33 million people, has introduced a new policy targeting hateful messages.

The move follows a survey that found a third of British elite sportswomen had experienced social media abuse - double the figure from the last survey carried out by BBC Sport five years ago.

The new policy, effective from today, involves:

  • Blocking people “bringing hate to our comments sections”.
  • Reporting the most serious cases to the relevant authorities.
  • “Working to make our accounts kind and respectful places.”
  • “Keep growing our coverage of women's sports, and keep covering issues and discussions around equality in sport.”

MediaCityUK-based BBC Sport has also asked users to flag up any replies “with an expression of hate on the basis of race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, sex, age or class.”

It added: “We have a responsibility to try to make our accounts and our community a safe place for discussion, debate and opinion. BBC Sport online has conducted a survey of British elite sportswomen and found almost a third had experienced social media abuse - double the figure from the last survey five years ago.

“We felt we could not report on this statistic without looking at what more we could do in the comments sections of our posts.

“We analysed our options, within the limited powers social media companies provide for account holders to tackle hate speech on their platforms, and have drawn up a new policy for how we will respond to it.

“We want our platforms to be a respectful place for discussion, constructive criticism, debate and opinion.  Hate won't stop us in our goal of representing all of us.

“Together we will strive to make our social media accounts a safe space for everyone.”