London/Chicago, 12 August 2021 – Today Stats Perform, the sports tech leader in data and AI technology, and Signify Group, a British ethical data science company, announce a unique partnership to bring a best-in-class social media abuse monitoring service to the sport market.
Social media abuse is now recognised as one of the most serious problems facing sport, with calls from fans, players, teams, leagues, and even governments to take action. Stats Perform recognizes that the sports integrity field needs to expand to include an increased focus on this issue, especially given its impact on sport and its participants. As a result, Stats Perform’s Integrity Unit will be partnering with Signify to address the issue head on, leveraging AI and Machine Learning to monitor and identify abuse in real-time.
Stats Perform will work with Signify to expand access to Signify’s Threat Matrix, a proprietary service using AI technology to detect online abuse at scale, by focusing on providing sports industry stakeholders, such as rights holders, teams, player associations, international federations and governing bodies, with the service to unmask abusers and identify trends, tactics and technology used to send hate online. Those involved in sport need support and protection to help evidence, deflect and report abuse. Threat Matrix offers this service, stripping anonymity from perpetrators and ensuring that abusers do not go unpunished.
Threat Matrix provides proactive monitoring and analysis of millions of open source social media posts across multiple platforms. Service capabilities include images and emoji recognition, as well as keywords, phrases and a long list of abusive words, terms and profanities in multiple languages. The service has been developed over the last 2 years and is built on an evidence based and defensible expert approach to the screening and assessment of inappropriate, threatening and unwanted communications directed at public figures.
Signify have conducted projects across multiple sports including Athletics, Basketball, Cricket and Football. They have run international Open Source investigations for FIFA and are working with Premier League clubs to protect players from online hate. The Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA) partnered with Signify to carry out the most comprehensive study of its kind into online abuse. The report, analysing 6 million tweets over the 2020-21 season has led to the removal of thousands of posts and accounts from social media platforms, whilst initiating club sanctions and criminal investigations.
Threat Matrix joins Stat Perform’s existing portfolio of integrity services offerings including Betting Market Monitoring, Performance Integrity Analysis, Intelligence and Investigations, that are already used by some of the world’s leading rights holders such as The Championships, Wimbledon, as well as La Liga and MLS.
Carl Mergele, Stats Perform CEO, said: “Our Integrity work at Stats Perform focuses on the protection of sport and that includes athletes and other participants. Sports are under increasing pressure from fans and sponsors to demonstrate moral and social responsibility and our partnership with Signify Group will see the deployment of game-changing AI to protect players, athletes and officials from online racist, homophobic, sexist and other abuse. We are very proud to bring this offering to our clients and it blends perfectly with our approach to sport integrity and our wider ESG commitments.”
Jonathan Hirshler, Signify CEO, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Stats Perform to offer Threat Matrix to their unrivalled portfolio of clients. The combination of Stats Perform’s sports industry expertise and Threat Matrix’s bespoke AI powered proactive monitoring and analysis capabilities provides sports stakeholders with an industry leading solution to help protect their athletes and staff from online threat and discriminatory abuse.”