GLAAD: Social Media ‘Hate Speech’ Is ‘Significant Problem’ for LGBT Users

People take part at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade in Pristina, Kosovo, on October 10, 2019. - Hundreds of Kosovo people marched along the main street during a Gay parade demanding "freedom" and "equal rights" in the patriarchal and Muslim majority country with little tolerant views …
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A recent report from GLAAD has stated that Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter are all  “effectively unsafe for LGBTQ users.”

NPR reports that a recent study released by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) states that practically all social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter are “effectively unsafe for LGBTQ users.”

The organization, which focuses on ending discrimination against LGBT people, said in its inaugural social media index report: “Of special concern, the prevalence and intensity of hate speech and harassment stands out as the most significant problem in urgent need of improvement.”

The study found that 64 percent of LGBTQ social media users reported experiencing harassment or “hate speech” at a higher rate than all other identity groups on social media. Facebook users experienced the highest percentage of harassment with around 75 recent of those who reported experiencing online harassment saying it occurred on Facebook.

Around 24 percent of those surveyed said they experienced harassment or hate on Twitter. 21 percent reported harassment on YouTube, while 23 percent reported harassment on Instagram and a further 9 percent reported harassment on TikTok.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in an interview with Axios on HBO that the organization planned to give each of the social media platforms a grade as part of its index, but abandoned the plan after determining that all of the sites would receive a failing grade.

Ellis stated that online harassment and “hate speech” can have a direct effect on LGBT users, “I think that there are direct lines to, unfortunately, suicides of our community,” she said.

The report from GLAAD calls for greater protection of LGBT users from social media firms by changing community guidelines, improving content moderation, mitigating algorithmic bias, and an increase in LGBT hiring, inclusion, and leadership at the firms.

The report stated: “While Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and others must balance concerns around free expression, it cannot be stated strongly enough that social media platforms must take substantive, meaningful, and far more aggressive action to prioritize the safety of their LGBTQ users and to staunch the epidemic of hate and extremism.”

Read more at NPR here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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