UK Premier League clubs in discussions over software that could stop online abuse

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What you need to know

  • UK Premier League clubs are in talks with a US firm about software that could stop online abuse.
  • Respondology's software can hide abuse in real-time on social media platforms, whilst ensuring perpetrators can still be identified.
  • The software has reportedly been presented to numerous top flight clubs.

A new report says that UK Premier League clubs are in talks with US firm Respondology over software that could stop online abuse against players.

From The Athletic:

Six Premier League sides are in discussions with an American tech firm in a deal they hope will enable clubs and players to eliminate their exposure to abuse on social media platforms... Premier League clubs are not ruling out a boycott of their own but their battle to protect players against abuse has intensified after several leading clubs heard a pitch during the past few weeks from the US firm Respondology, whose software allows the abuse to be hidden in real time on several major social platforms, which means their players would not be exposed to the abuse.

The software reportedly works using artificial intelligence and a team of 1,000 human moderators to filter abuse in real-time. It stops the abuse being seen by clubs and players but leaves the post visible to the original poster so they are non-the-wiser and can still be identified. The report says that "numerous clubs in the top flights" have been presented with the software, including some competing in Europe, as well as the Football Association itself.

The Premier League is also reportedly considering using the software on its own social channels.

Respondology's software, which is called Mod™, is already used by NASCAR and some of its drivers, as well as "several" NBA, NFL, and NHL sides. The President of Respondology Erik Swain stated "Our tool is called 'Mod™'. This removes abusive comments, as well as spam and bots, in almost less than a second in real-time. It works 24/7, 365 days per year. We use keyword filtering technology to do this, which is highly customisable for every club or every brand. This enables them to draw the line where they want on allowing discourse and discussion, so it does not stray into what they consider to be abuse."

NASCAR chief digital officer Tim Clark said the sport had seen a "positive impact" in using the software.

You can read the full report here.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9