Abuses Remained Rife on Social Media During Euro 2020. Why?

Social Media Platforms Try to Quickly Remove Abusive or Racial Comments and Posts, Especially When Directed at Well-Known Individuals

Similar to before events, the social media platforms are currently facing intense criticism as their sites are being used for racial abusing of the football players, which was followed after the dramatic results of the Euro 2020 tournament on Sunday.

Traditional media platforms

Although it is becoming very difficult for the tech firms to defend this incident and other similar which have happened in the recent past. But how can those companies be held responsible for the content which is being shared with billions of users.

In short, by having a look at the history in terms of the regulatory measures applied by these firms, the social media platforms are not generally classified as the broadcaster of news or publishing authorities, in a similar way other traditional news media is, such as CNBC or BBC.

If any kind of racial comment is being written by an individual under an article, like regarding the Euro 2020, which is posted on traditional media platforms, the site would be held accountable for the actions, and the regional regulatory authority would have the right to intervene and decide on the disciplinary actions, including fines.

But such regulatory author does not have any jurisdiction over social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or TikTok, which are currently under self-regulation by the firm itself. However, it is expected that a new watchdog is to be made during the long-anticipated Online Safety Bill.

Whether there is the intimidation of hefty fines which helps in focusing the minds of the giant multi-million dollars social media businesses, however, regulation of these platforms requires a separate authority, which is to come not only in the United Kingdom but the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, some the traditional media outlets do not have such a large audience and presence across the globe, due to which they generally do not have to deal with racial or abusive comments, which is unlike Facebook, on which any content, audio, video, or written material can be posted from any place form the world in real-time, and has such a large consumer base of more than 2 billion.

Technological algorithm for community guidelines

Due to this sheer volume of content that is being placed on the site, generally during major events, including the recently occurred Euro 2020, which has sparked quite a series of abusive online content, the human content moderators that are employed by these platforms become swamped.

Some of them have even described their shifts as being nightmares, as they have to sift through some of the most disgusting and worst graphic content that is imaginable and then had to make required decisions regarding its outcome. The solution that is currently being pursued by these firms, in which they are investing a countless amount of money and time, is automation.

The algorithms are being trained to seek out any kind of material that could be offensive before it is allowed to be posted on the platforms, along with banning certain illegal and incendiary hashtags and using the hashing techniques, which is able to create a digital fingerprint of the content, and then later block all content on the site that bears similar markers, and are currently being used for regulation of the social media platforms by the creators of the firm, and was recently seen in action during the posting of inappropriate content posted regarding the players of Euro 2020.

But up till now, automation has still remained to be a blunt instrument, which was observed during the tournament of Euro 2020.

The concept can further be understood by a recent example from the Euro 2020. Last night during the tournament of Euro 2020, an anonymous account was reported which had posted an emoticon of an orangutan as a comment on one of the posts on Instagram of the football player Bukayo Saka of the England team.

Now, the emoticon cannot be blanket-banned

But in the current context, given that the England football player is black, and it was his penalty kick that failed in the last deciding moments during the tournament of Italy vs. England final match of Euro 2020, the intention of the comment posted was clear.

The response given by Instagram after reporting that account was that our technology has found that it does not go in contradiction of the community guidelines of the platform.

Read also Prominent Women Want Concrete Action To Stop Online Abuse