Virtual Technology as Tools of Athlete Maltreatment: safeguarding in online spaces

Authors: Kavanagh, E.

Conference: Invited presentation for the Research Chair in Security and Integrity in Sport at Laval University, Quebec, Canada.

Dates: 16 June 2021


Digital technologies have become an essential component in the navigation of everyday tasks and activities. In the process of consuming and engaging in online environments, our ‘real’ lives have become intimately entangled with new media and ‘virtual’ environments. Virtual platforms and technologies have proven to be valuable to athletes, coaches and fans, yet with increased connection comes the potential for misuse and abuse within these spaces. This presentation will consider how virtual spaces can be adopted as tools of maltreatment. The types of abuse that can be experienced, alongside (risk) factors that promote or enable abuse to occur online will be explored. It will consider power in virtual spaces as a critical frame of reference for understanding virtual interactions and para-social relationships. Finally, there will be discussion of the importance of safeguarding individuals online and suggestions made for further research in this area.

Source: Manual