The French Open tennis tournament, also known as Roland Garros, is the second Grand Slam of the season.
128 men and 128 women compete in singles action, and 64 teams of men, 64 teams of women, and 64 mixed doubles teams will compete in the tournament beginning on May 28.
To protect these players from cyberbullying, the French Open is offering an innovative tool to the players.
It is an AI tool that will filter out cyberbullying and harassing comments on players’ social media accounts.
French Open organizers are giving all players access to an online tool meant to protect them from cyberbullying and harassment on social media.
The tool will filter comments posted to social media accounts and block those that are deemed toxic or abusive https://t.co/imXb81xuGv pic.twitter.com/42GdCrmrcX
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This is a significant step from a major sporting event in valuing the mental health of its participants.
It is hard to find fault with this idea.
Competitors in the heat of battle who look at social media in their downtime will not be exposed to inappropriate comments.
Positive and encouraging comments will remain in their feeds which can only help the players as they advance through the tournament which consists of seven rounds in a path to the championship.
How Will It Work?
The tool was developed by Bodyguard.ai company and is offered for free to the players.
Players can opt to connect their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Discord accounts to it throughout the tournament.
The French tennis federation detailed how it will work.
“It is an AI that performs moderation in real time. The comment is analyzed in less than 200 milliseconds. A team of linguists creates word structures to update the technology in real time from what is posted on social networks to generate a contextual analysis. The goal is to ensure that nothing is missed, while making sure that nothing is censored.”
Its purpose is to: “preserve the players, their mental health, the values of sport and tennis and to banish people who come to spread their aggression and hatred on social networks.”
Tennis, a largely individual sport, is considered one of the worst in terms of social media harassment imposed upon its players.
It will be interesting to learn if the tool is widely used by the players, and if other tournaments will follow the French Open in using similar technology for the same purpose.