LTA and Verkeer join global Correct the Internet campaign
• 3 MINUTE READ
The LTA and digital marketing and SEO agency, Verkeer, have today announced their support of 'Correct the Internet', a campaign to highlight and correct inaccuracies in internet search results and improve the visibility of sportswomen.
The campaign raises awareness of male bias related to sport in search engine algorithms, provides tools to allow anyone to correct inaccuracies and aims to find and correct as many incorrect search results as possible.
The objectives of the campaign align with awareness raising work we undertook in March 2022 regarding gender search bias. A report commissioned by the LTA revealed a heavy male skew in the results of generic search queries about tennis players, contributing to reduced visibility for women’s sport and reenforcing perceptions that sport is more for men than women.
While tennis is traditionally regarded as a leader in equality in sport, there are still many areas where further progress is needed, as we highlighted in 2022 and now the 'Correct the Internet' campaign.
Although Novak Djokovic has this week surpassed Steffi Graf’s record as longest time for a tennis player at world no.1, a search for “which tennis player has spent the longest time ranked no.1” before this week would have suggested that he already held this record.
Another example of male-skewed bias can also be seen when searching “which tennis player has reached the most Grand Slam finals” where Djokovic (33 finals) and records in men’s tennis also dominate results, with the record holder Chris Evert (34 finals) barely mentioned.
Acknowledging this gender bias and raising awareness of the steps that can be taken to remove it is an effective way of achieving change. In the year since we highlighted issues with generic tennis searches, Verkeer, the digital marketing and search engine optimisation agency who undertook the initial study for the LTA, have reported progress in key areas. As a result of content producers tagging more diligently and providing more gender specific information in their content, the number of references and information provided about female players has increased significantly, particularly in rankings related searches.
Julie Porter, LTA Chief Operating Officer, said “We were shocked by the results of our research last year which showed just how dominated generic search results were by male-specific information, even in a leading women’s sport like tennis. We not only want to ensure tennis becomes a truly gender-balanced sport, but also play a role in improvements across sport and society. Visibility is a key pillar of our 'She Rallies' work and we are pleased to support the work of the 'Correct the Internet' campaign to make sportswomen more visible and receive the recognition their sporting achievements deserve.”
Correct the Internet co-founder Rebecca Sowden said “Many of the world’s leading athletes are women. Many of the world’s sporting records are held by women. But when people search online for factual sporting information about athletes, the results favour the sportsmen, even when the sportswomen have greater statistics. Our goal is to empower the next generation of sportswomen by ensuring that when women are the best in the world, the internet reflects that.”