Who has scored the most goals in international football?
The internet will generally tell you it’s Cristiano Ronaldo, when it’s actually women’s footballer, Christine Sinclair.
The inconsistency of searchable facts that disadvantage sportswomen is behind a global campaign, Correct The Internet. It is the collective work of an international group of like-minded people that seeks to highlight, and correct, inaccuracies in internet search results and make sportswomen more visible as a result.
One of its founding partners is Rebecca Sowden, former New Zealand Football Fern and owner of international women’s sports marketing and sponsorship consultancy, Team Heroine, which is a member of the United Nations’ Football for the Goals.
Rebecca Sowden says she is passionate about helping the world recognise all sporting heroes and empower the next generation of sportswomen.
“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,” Sowden says.
Paul Spain, Gorilla Technology’s Futurist and CEO says: “Search engine algorithms draw on human created content, designed to give us what we are looking for, instantly. Because search engines take so much notice of what is made popular by major publishers, social media platforms and content creators, search results will reflect certain peoples or organisations inherent preferences. This can lead to biased search results that include information that is not factually correct.”
The campaign has also garnered the support of many well-known athletes and high-profile sporting organisations including English rugby’s Red Roses’ player, Shaunagh Brown, and Football Fern Meikayla Moore, and is supported by Women in Sport Aotearoa, Ngā Wāhine Hākinakina o Aotearoa (WISPA), Women Sport Australia and New Zealand Football.
Shaunagh Brown said, “The only way to correct the algorithm is through the power of the people and Correct The Internet wants to empower people to help ensure accurate information is delivered to all of us. Let’s do this for future sports people everywhere.”
With its aim to empower women through the power of sport, Correct The Internet has garnered the support of Football for the Goals (FFTG), a United Nations initiative that provides a platform for the global football community to engage with and advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Goal 5 of which aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
There’s no easy way to correct the inconsistencies in search results.
However, if people report these issues using each search engine’s inbuilt feedback function, they can be logged and fixed. The problem is, most people aren’t familiar with the feedback function, and recent design changes on some of the larger search engines make it harder to find.
The team behind Correct The Internet has already identified numerous factual inconsistencies and has created a tool that makes sending feedback easy for anyone to execute with just a couple of clicks.
The public can visit the site to send a feedback message to search engines notifying them of their incorrect search results and provide the correct information. Over time, the aim is to find and correct as many incorrect search results as possible using this tool and the collective power of the people.
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