Social Responsibility As An Athlete

In the last few years, the rise of detrimental comments and cyberbullying on Social Media has skyrocketed in the sporting world.

This is mostly due to a lack of accountability online; if someone decides to get in the comments thread of a post and call someone a dickhead or tell them to kill themselves, in most cases, no one is going to come knocking on their door to hold them accountable.

Following the Supercars Bathurst 1000 last year, our client Chaz Mostert was involved in a racing incident which saw a teammate’s car retire from the Race.
Chaz was deemed to be not at fault, but this was not of relevance to some “fans” who attacked him online on Media articles and social platforms.

This was followed up on in the new year in the opening event, when Rick Kelly and Chaz had an incident in Pit Lane where they came together, deemed to be the fault of Chaz’s crew which he was penalised for during the Race.

Despite the nature of the racing incident and the two drivers shaking hands after the Race, yet again, online fans attacked both drivers, but more namely Rick Kelly, which prompted Chaz to get another post up on his Social Media calling those type of fans out.

The solution to this kind of harassment, despite what some Athletes are told to do, is not to “just ignore the comments”.

As an Athlete and as a role model for kids, especially in a family-orientated sport, Chaz has a social responsibility to maintain his platforms and we want to keep his accounts a safe space for those who are interested in his life and his results in Supercars.

People are entitled to their own opinions, but if they want to share them and can’t do so in a respectable manner then they don’t deserve to have their voices heard.
This is something Chaz feels very strongly about and Owlpine Group implemented a few different ways of keeping his comment sections clean.

Facebook’s Profanity Filter In the Facebook Page Settings, the Profanity Filter can be set to either ‘Medium’ or ‘Strong’ which is a quick-fire way of keeping the most commonly reported words and phrases marked offensive by the Facebook community off of your page.

Keep in mind, however, that Facebook doesn’t share what is blocked on the ‘Medium’ or ‘Strong’ list, so it’s also good to use Page Moderation to ensure you’ve got all bases covered.

Facebook’s Auto-Moderation of Comments
Again in the Facebook Page Settings under Page Moderation, you can choose to take your time and input some more of the colourful words you want to keep off your page, or you can download a.CSV ready file online that has a series of terms already listed and upload this directly.

Any words that are entered into the Page Moderation section are automatically blocked from your page, so any commenter who tries to use one of the listed terms becomes automatically hidden.

Instagram’s Limited Comments Function
Instagram’s new ‘comments on this post have been limited’ has been integrated as a way to fight harassment, offensive comments and cyber bullying.

If you have public Instagram account you can now limit the group of people that can comment your posts to:
1. Everyone
2. Your followers only
3. Your following and followers
4. Or close the comments altogether

As a private user, you can only block the specific account from commenting on your post.

Twitter’s Advanced Muting Options On Twitter, to hide certain terms you can determine these in your settings – however, they will only be hidden from your profile on your end, your other followers will still be able to see replies on your posts that include the terms you define.

You can find out more from this handy link.

Responding to Comments
As Owlpine Group manage Chaz’s Social & Digital Media, we like to respond to comments on some posts for Chaz, and some of our other clients too.
We don’t tear them down or respond rudely, just share why they are way off the mark in what they’ve said or why what they have said is not acceptable.

Not everyone has time for this, but it’s a good way to set a tone on a page and set an example which can prompt others to think first before commenting; half the time they are so embarrassed that Chaz has actually responded to what they’ve said that they delete their own comments.

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