As part of a concerted effort to address the issue of online abuse throughout the motorsport community, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) is partnering with Artificial Intelligence experts Arwen.ai.
Through this collaboration, Arwen.ai is leveraging its AI-enabled content moderation platform to help the FIA detect and reduce growing levels of unwanted content on its social channels. A successful trial has already been completed.
The FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has called for direct action against the scourge of online abuse, and in particular, comments directed at FIA volunteers, officials and competitors. He said: “As the governing body, we draw criticism at times for the decisions we take in enforcing technical and sporting regulations. We expect people to disagree with some decisions, but opinions and comments should always be respectful. People are entitled to their opinion and we encourage free speech. However, an increasing number of social media posts carry an unacceptable level of vitriol, and this, we cannot tolerate.”
Ben Sulayem continued: “A number of FIA staff have been targeted with harassment and hate posts over the past few years, which is totally unacceptable. Some of that has been aimed at FIA volunteers, including FIA female steward Silvia Bellot, who was subject to death threats. It is utterly deplorable that a volunteer such as Silvia, or any of our marshals and officials who volunteer their time to allow us to go racing in a safe and controlled environment, are the subject of such hatred. Without them, there would be no racing. We have also heard the views of Formula 1 drivers during recent drivers’ briefings at grand prix weekends. They have voiced their concerns over the issue and are committed to action. We are calling on the entire motorsport community to unite as one in this mission. Abuse has no place in our sport. It has a devastating effect on our mental health and that of our loved ones, and I will always stand up for my employees, officials and volunteers”.
On the new partnership with Arwen.ai, President Ben Sulayem said: “Our campaign will build on the recent Drive It Out initiative. We must all unite to take action against abuse, harassment and hate speech. We must combat this blight on our sport. The expertise of Arwen.ai will be a key tool in this effort.”
Ben Sulayem had issued a strong statement addressing the disturbing trend of social media bullying on the eve of the penultimate round of the Formula One World Championship in Brazil. He called for an end to social media hate which has affected not only drivers, but FIA employees and fans as well.
From his end, Matt McGrory, the CEO of Arwen AI Ltd, commented on the new partnership, saying: “As a business, Arwen.ai is committed to tackling the ever-increasing issue of online hate speech. No organisation or its employees should be subjected to abuse, which can have a detrimental impact, both personally and professionally.”