The FIA has announced plans to make use of artificial intelligence software to try and combat what it calls “toxic” levels of online abuse.
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem (pictured second from right, above) has come out publicly calling for a united front in trying to improve online communities, with the governing body in discussions with social media platforms and other sports groups about how to do so collectively. One of the recent catalysts behind Ben Sulayem’s comments was a number of death threats aimed at FIA steward Silvia Bellot.
As part of its work, the FIA has now announced it will work with Arwen.ai, with the company implementing its AI-enabled content moderation platform to “help the FIA detect and reduce levels of toxic content.”
A successful trial has already been carried out, while Arwen.ai has previously worked with Mercedes, Red Bull and Alpine on similar projects.
“As the governing body, we draw criticism at times for the decisions we take in enforcing technical and sporting regulations,” Ben Sulayem said. “We respect that people are entitled to their opinion and we encourage free speech, but an increasing number of social media posts carry an unacceptable level of vitriol.
“Some of that has been aimed at FIA staff and volunteers. I will always stand up for my employees, officials and volunteers. These people enable us to go racing in a safe and controlled environment. 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.
“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. The social media platform owners also have a role to play.”
The “Drive It Out” initiative is F1’s own campaign that is ongoing in collaboration with the teams and already works with Arwen.ai, while the sport is implementing measures to tackle issues at events following concerns about fan behavior at a number of races.