Wimbledon is helping protect players form online abuse

London (AFP) - Wimbledon chiefs said Friday they had launched a social media monitoring service to protect players from online abuse.

It follows a similar “anti-online harassment and hate speech tool” that was put in place at the French Open last year.

In another sign of the growing awareness of the issue, artificial intelligence will be used at the 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics to shield athletes.

Britain’s Harriet Dart said there were positives and negatives to social media after reaching the third round on Thursday.

“I’m sure today, if I open one of my apps, regardless if I won, I’d have a lot of hate as well,” she said.

Wimbledon tournament director Jamie Baker said the All England Club had taken action to protect players, using a dedicated team and AI.

“This year is the first year that we have got effectively a social media monitoring service specifically for the event,” he said.

“This is not something that you’ll see in the public domain at all. You won’t see us shout about it but effectively we are scrolling social media for any of this type of content and it means that we can get information that we haven’t had in the past.

“We’re not just relying on what a player might be saying is happening to them but also if there is something that is of concern that’s when our security teams can basically kick in and actually help do something about it.”

Baker said it was up to players how much they wanted to use the service.

“The benefit of having it is that we do have the ability to officially register what’s going on but we wouldn’t be taking any of those steps without actually engaging with the player and their teams and trying to get a feel for what’s going on,” he said.

“This is the obviously the first time we’ve had it at our event but tennis is doing a lot more of this now so I think in general for the athletes it’s really positive that we’re taking this step.”