Man United's Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire most abused Premier League players - study

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire are the two Premier League players who receive the most abuse on Twitter [Photo/ Twitter]

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire are the most abused Premier League players on Twitter, a study has found.

According to a report, carried out by The Alan Turing Institute and Ofcom and using a new technology that can decipher whether tweets are abusive, eight of the 10 players who received the most abuse were with Manchester United at the time.

Portugal legend Ronaldo received 12,520 abusive tweets in that time, while Maguire received 8,954 -- nearly 6,400 more than the next player on the list, Marcus Rashford .

The other five United players in the top 10 were Bruno Fernandes, Fred, Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba and David de Gea.

Only Harry Kane (Tottenham) and Jack Grealish (Manchester City) were not playing for Manchester United.

Ofcom analysed 2.3 million messages directed at Premier League players over the first five months of the 2021-22 season.

The study revealed 418 of the 618 players analysed received at least one abusive tweet, with eight per cent of the abuse aimed at a protected characteristic, such as their race or gender.

Around half of the abusive messages were targeted at 12 specific players, who received on average 15 abusive tweets every day.

It also found that 60,000 posts deemed abusive, with 68 per cent of players in the top flight receiving at least one message in that period.

Kevin Bakhurst, Ofcom's group director for broadcasting and online content, said: "These findings shed light on a dark side to the beautiful game.

"Online abuse has no place in sport, nor in wider society, and tackling it requires a team effort."

A Twitter spokesperson said it was committed to combating abuse.

"As acknowledged in the report, this type of research is only possible because our public API (Application Programming Interface) is open and accessible to all.

"However, our publicly accessible API does not take into account the range of safeguards we put in place, so this does not completely reflect the user experience."

 

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