The broadcaster is also joining English football’s social media boycott this weekend.


BT has launched its ‘Draw The Line’ campaign against online hate. 

The multi-million pound campaign aims to confront hate speech and abuse on social media by highlighting the problem across BT Sport channels for the remainder of the season and implementing an Anti Online Abuse Policy.

The broadcaster will also proactively respond, delete, block or report hate and abuse to ensure its own social channels are safer spaces for their communities.

BT Sport also joined the social media boycott orchestrated by English football this weekend, which is aimed at racial hatred and discrimination and runs from 3pm on Friday until midnight on Monday.

UK charity Glitch has supported BT’s efforts, by training BT team members to become active bystanders online, as well as help develop an AI Abuse tracker tool which tracks the level of abuse on Twitter.

This tracker has found numerous signs of online abuse, including that during one 90 minute match there was a 350% increase in abusive Tweets in just 5 minutes as teams failed to score. In addition, across all the matches tracked, there was a 65% increase in religious abuse and a 45% increase in sexual orientation abuse.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer division, said: “For too long we have just accepted that hate online is the norm. Today we are launching Draw the Line – a campaign on BT Sport which marks the start of a BT focus on tackling social media abuse”

“We’re working on building a better understanding of what we don’t see, by using technology to build a more accurate picture of the scale of the problem.  Over the next few months, you will see our own social teams proactively respond, delete, block or report hate speech and the abuse we see on our channels.

“And this summer, BT and EE will make big investments in activity to raise awareness of the issue and give people the digital skills to protect themselves and support others on social media.”

“There can be no place for online hate in the connected, digitally-inclusive UK we want to help build. None at all.”

Founder and executive director of Glitch, Seyi Akiwowo, added: “We’re excited to work alongside BT to lead the way in both raising awareness of online abuse as well as implement new and sustainable measures to ensure their channels are a safe space for everyone.” 

“It’s alarming how commonplace online abuse has become, especially when looking at statistics regarding women and marginalised communities. That’s why for the last four years we’ve recommended ways everyone including corporations can and must play their part in keeping the online space safe.”

“Our mental health, our wellbeing and the sports we love are being negatively impacted by online abuse. Online abuse has no place in our society and we all must take action. Until everyone, especially social media companies and the government commit to doing so this problem won’t go away.”

“We at Glitch develop and deliver various online safety workshops including how to be an online active bystander. In order to draw the line when it comes to abuse, we encourage you as digital citizens to spot, report and support.”