United Against Online Abuse

Coalition to stop hate speech in sport

The United Against Online Abuse campaign is a collaborative mission between national governments, regulatory institutions and fellow sporting bodies, with the objective of building a global coalition to tackle online abuse within the sport ecosystem.

Our key pillars

Stronger together

Success will come if the global sport ecosystem stands together to combat this problem. Our partnership is a powerful, consistent presence across all platforms.

Evidence Based

Conduct and publish research, via the FIA University, on the unexplored topic of online abuse in sport, and provide a platform for knowledge sharing, education, and prevention.

Committed to Action

Create an international coalition where all relevant stakeholders can discuss, agree, and advance concrete solutions to combat digital hate and abuse in sport. Focusing on legal prosecutions and supporting victims with relevant after-care.

Our partners

Frequently asked questions

What is online hate speech?

Whilst ‘hate speech’ has no single agreed definition it is most commonly understood as “hostile, and malicious language targeted at a person or group because of their actual or perceived innate characteristics” (Siegel, 2020). These attributes and protected characteristics, may include race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

The scope of Hate Speech also encompasses ‘offensive speech, digital hostility and online abuse’ therefore for researchers, prosecutors and victims it is a type of negative online behaviour that is often conflated with other types. Given this knowledge and the rapidly evolving nature of dialect, emojis and the online sphere, it makes it challenging to distinguish case-studies due to subjectivity and context-dependence.

Online hate can be spread through many types of media, including videos, images and text and often takes “the form of derogatory, demonising and dehumanising statements, threats, pejorative terms and slurs” (Stop Hate UK, 2023). Despite its classification difficulties, online hate speech and case-specific elements of online abuse are a possible legal offence.

How will this coalition make meaningful change?

Our primary focus is by initiating a research-led approach, the FIA in partnership with the FIA Foundation have committed to funding 6 Master’s by Research Scholars to focus on online abuse within sport. You can find out more about our scholarships initiative here: United Against Online Abuse – FIA University

Our vision is to have a diverse international student body in order to ensure we understand hate-speech beyond the scope of English and specifically outside of a Western-lens. Cognitive diversity and creating an expansive coalition are one of several keys to success.