Reports suggest how a survey this week showed 84% adults from the LGBTQ community considered social media to lack protections for the prevention of harassment, discrimination and disinformation. Alongside, 40% of these adults, and 49% of non binary and transgender people, reportedly do not feel safe or welcome on social media. GLAAD stated that this was owing to the range of harassment and hate they come across while using these platforms.
These findings from Wednesday, July 13, are mainly a part of the second annual Social Media Safety Index of GLAAD. It highlights the safety of LGBTQ users across the five major sites- Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter. The organisation is the largest in world to advocate for media for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer.
As it graded each company on its platforms’ steps to protect users, it referred to features like if they provide options for gender-pronoun on profiles, or bans ads that could harm or discriminate against them. All five platforms got failing grades, with every one scoring below 50 out of a full 100. Out of these, Instagram scored the highest with 48% and TikTok the lowest with 43%. GLAAD stated how such online harassment issues turn serious and social media sites must play a part to counter it.
“Today’s political and cultural landscapes demonstrate the real-life harmful effects of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and misinformation online,” Sarah Kate Ellis said.
The chief executive and president of GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis gave a statement on these released findings. She stated how the misinformation, harassment, and lies about LGBTQ people are clearly going viral on the internet, with the emergence of ‘real-world danger.’ Further, she noted how these platforms actively participate on the rise of anti-LGBTQ cultural environment. Additionally stating how their only answer should be to create safer provisions right away with their implementation.
The Anti-Defamation League published a report indicating of 66% of the respondents of a LGBTQ+ survey admitted to witnessed hate based online harassment, with 54% facing ‘severe harassment. Many US state legislatures adopted laws that anti-gay and anti-trans that limits talks regarding such topics.
Among the recommendations GLAAD made for social media companies, one is for the protections of the data privacy of LGBTQ users. Especially, protection in fields where they are critically prone to harms and attacks. An advisor to the GLAAD report, Evan Greer stated how this important for the assurance of their safety.
Moreover, GLAAD suggests how they should improve their algorithms for the amplification of harmful material. Additionally, content moderators should receive better training for the understanding of their requirements.