BBC Sport condemn hate speech after survey reveals level of trolling against female athletes

Following the survey, the TV station have said that they will take steps to make their social media accounts free of misogyny, racism and homophobia.

A diverse line up of women take part in a track race

In recent weeks, the BBC have been hitting it out of the park in their attempts to make the station more inclusive of all viewers, now BBC Sport have followed suit with their announced intention to crack down on hate speech.

BBC Sport survey found that one in three elite sportswomen had experienced some sort of abuse on social media, which had disturbingly grown since the results of a 2015 survey which said one in six had experienced trolling.

BBC Sport subsequently announced they would take serious steps to ensure their social media platforms were free from misogyny, racism and homophobia. Their statement read:

“The BBC exists for all of us, so it should represent all of us. That means BBC Sport covers a wide range of sports and stories. But, as we do that, our comments sections on social media can often attract hateful messages. We want our platforms to be a respectful place for discussion, constructive criticism, debate and opinion. We know the vast majority of you – our 33 million social media followers – want that too.

“So here’s what we’re doing:

  • We will block people bringing hate to our comments sections;
  • We will report the most serious cases to the relevant authorities;
  • We will work to make our accounts kind and respectful places;
  • We will keep growing our coverage of women’s sports, and keep covering issues and discussions around equality in sport.

“We also want your help. If you see a reply to BBC Sport posts with an expression of hate on the basis of race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, sex, age or class please flag the URL to the post in question by emailing [email protected].

“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.”

This is even more heartening in the wake of CBBC’s statement which they released in the wake of complaints over a same-sex kiss in a show aimed at teenagers.

They said that their programming “could and should do more to reflect the lives of LGBT+ young people. This is an important part of our mission to make sure that every child feels like they belong, that they are safe, and that they can be who they want to be.”

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