Formula 1 | FIA takes action against online harassment
The president of the FIA, Muhammad Ben Sulayem, wrote an open letter and announced that the federation will take on the problem of abuse on social networks. This decision was made after the persecution of Sylvia Bellot.
Steward was part of the group that sanctioned Fernando Alonso at the US Grand Prix. The Alpine F1 driver’s fans seized on it and felt it was biased against the driver based on the penalty handed down to the Spaniard a decade ago.
Last year, Michael Masi’s behavior after receiving death threats caused the reaction of the president of the federation, who wants to actively fight against these problems.
“Recently one of the female stewards of the FIA, Silvia Bellot, received death threats. It is truly sad that a volunteer like Silvia or any of our stewards and officials who give up their time for us to attend races is the object of such hatred.” Ben Sulayem wrote.
“Indeed, in the last few years, a number of FIA employees have also become targets of harassment and hate messages.”
“For our volunteers, officials and staff to be subjected to this extreme violence is completely unacceptable. It has no place in our sport. It has a devastating effect on our mental health and those close to us.”
The risk of “ruining” motorsport
Ben Sulayem recalls the crucial role of FIA members in the existence of motor sport. With that, he calls for an end to this stupid and inappropriate behavior so that the mental health of the federation’s decision-makers is protected.
“I will always stand up for my staff and volunteers. And let me be clear: without these people, there would be no competition. We have to ask ourselves who would want to be a senior official in such an environment. The reality is obvious – if this continues, it will destroy our sport. “.
“As a judge and as a chairman, of course you expect people to disagree with the decisions you make. But you should expect those opinions and comments to be respected.”
“This is becoming increasingly rare. Only through a collaborative approach will we succeed in combating this scourge for our sport.”
The FIA is already announcing its decisions on this matter
As with other sensitive issues, the FIA decided to act quickly and Mohammed Ben Sulayem announced the first decisions to prevent the development of these inappropriate behaviors and even expressed the hope that they would gradually disappear.
“We have begun dialogue with social media platforms to play their part and are working with governments and other sports governing bodies to make strong commitments to joint action.”
“Through FIA University, we are conducting research on digital hate and toxic comments in sports. This research will serve as a platform for knowledge sharing, education and prevention.”
“We have partnered with Arwen.ai to use its artificial intelligence software to detect and remove offensive content on our channels.”
“In the coming months, we will launch a concerted campaign using the strength and capabilities of our entire federation, which includes 244 motoring and sporting organizations in 146 countries across 5 continents.”
This campaign will be based on joint work between the FIA and Formula 1 under the Drive It Out initiative. I will talk more about this at the end of the month at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”
“Passions run high in sport, but online harassment, abuse and hate speech should not be tolerated. Everyone has a role to play in our sport, be it the media, teams, drivers or fans.”
“We cannot ignore this situation. I call on the entire motorsports ecosystem to take a stand. We must stand up against this. This must stop.”