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Twitter is a more dangerous social platform for LGBTQ users now than it was a year ago, according to a new survey from LGBTQ+ rights organization GLAAD.

The Group’s Third Annual Social Media Safety Index (SMSI) a report It finds backtracking and inconsistent enforcement of company policies addressing anti-LGBTQ hate speech online.

“The humanization of anti-LGBT+ content on social media such as misinformation and hate is having a significant impact on real-world violence and harmful anti-LGBT legislation,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis. sexually.”

“Social media platforms often fail to enforce their own policies regarding such content,” she added.

GLAAD’s SMSI Platform Scorecard rates LGBTQ safety, privacy, and expression on five major platforms – FacebookInstagram, TikTok, Youtube and Twitter – based on 12 LGBT indicators. These indications include explicit protections from hate and harassment for LGBTQ users, offering gender pronoun options in profiles, and prohibiting ads that could be harmful and/or discriminatory to LGBT people.

Regular CNBC guest and New York Magazine editor at Large Kara Swisher is a member of GLAAD’s SMSI advisory panel of more than a dozen industry experts.

Not just Twitter

Twitter is not alone. The other four major social media platforms also received low scores on the SMSI scorecard, with Facebook having 61% and TikTok posting 57% out of a possible 100%. See below for details of the results.

GLAAD has found that platforms continue to fall short in creating and enforcing safeguards intended to protect LGBTQ users from hate speech. The lack of transparency around user data remains a privacy concern.

Of the five major platforms included in this study, Twitter was the only platform with scores that fell from last year. Its score fell to 33% from 44.7%.

The decline comes in part as a result of the company’s efforts Removed transgender user protection in April 2023.

Twitter abominable behaviour The policy previously stated that Twitter prohibits “targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes, or other content intended to degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected class. This includes the targeted misleading or murder of transgender individuals.” The second line was removed in April, according to archived versions of the From page Wayback Machine Dated two months ago.

Twitter sent out a poo emoji in response to an emailed request for comment. The company did not immediately respond to a direct message seeking comment via Twitter.

Elon Musk took over as owner and CEO of the social platform in October 2022. Musk told CNBC reporter David Faber in May that as an “ambitious” free speech advocate, he advocates for a “community feedback” model to protect users on the platform.

“My overall vision for the actual Twitter is for it to be an electronic collective brain for humanity,” Musk said. “You can think of community feedback as correcting errors in information in the network. The impact of community feedback is greater than it seems. It’s greater than the number of feedback because if someone knows they’re going to get noticed, they’re less likely to say something false, because it’s embarrassing to be noticed.” the society “.

The controversy surrounding the community feedback approach is that it leaves the onus on those affected by hate speech to report harmful posts. GLAAD says this approach causes “the deeply traumatic psychological impact of being relentlessly subjected to slurs and hateful behaviour”.

dangerous environment

So far in 2023, GLAAD has documented over 160 acts or threats of violence at LGBTQ events. Recent GLAAD Acceleration of acceptance The report found that 86% of non-LGBT Americans agree that exposure to hateful content online leads to violence in the real world.

“There is an urgent need for effective regulatory oversight of the technology industry – and especially social media companies – with the goal of protecting LGBT people and all people,” said Jenny Olson, senior director of social media safety at GLAAD.

GLAAD calls on social media platforms to take responsibility for ineffective policies, products, and algorithms that create a dangerous environment for LGBTQ users, adding that actions from the platforms are limited because “activity leads to profitable engagement.”

Olson added that social media industry leaders “continue to prioritize corporate profits over the public interest.”

“Since Pride Month is recognized by many of the companies behind these platforms,” Ellis said. “They must recognize their roles in creating a dangerous environment for LGBTQ Americans and urgently take meaningful action.”


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