Social Media and Sporting Events

Generally my experiences on Social Media websites, mainly Facebook and Twitter have been positive, fun and insightful. However over the last couple of months (and years) I have seen one area on social media sites that is causing controversy and a rather unpleasant experience: Sporting teams and events.

For example, I am a fan of the Sydney Roosters NRL team. After their loss on Monday night I checked their Fanpage on Facebook.

Now I appreciate the Roosters are having a bad season. But when viewing the comments on the discussion I note the following is taking place between fans of the Roosters and competing clubs (Souths in this case):

  • Racial torts
  • People threatening physical violence on others
  • A large amount of verbal abuse and swearing

These sort of actions whether done in real life or on the internet are against the law. Considering your Facebook identity is so authentic and displays your real name and information – this comes back to the age old issue of why people act silly on the internet? And why do they not realise the possible implications of such actions?

Any ‘normal’ person would look at the discussion and think ‘WTF’. For a young kid following their footy team on Facebook the discussion would far from what you expected, and disappointing.

For social media marketers looking after sporting teams or sporting events – this makes their job particularly hard. As in this case with the Roosters, the page admins have had to spend a large amount of time deleting inappropriate and abusive comments.

What causes this behaviour on social media?

  • Human nature
  • Passionate about our sporting team
  • We are drunk watching the footy
  • People who watch the footy are more likely to act ‘rough’?
  • Because it’s the ‘internet’

What other subjects show this over the top behaviour?

  • Politics
  • Religion

What else?

David Cowling : Editor and Founder of I also run a Social Media Agency where I do consulting work and another blog dedicated to Instagram news. Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google + or contact me here. Alternatively, you can send me an email at