LGBT Group Slams Social Media’s Right-Wing Bias, Demands Increased Censorship for ‘Safety’ – Opinion

If there’s one thing social media needs more of, it’s censorship — a clamping down of conservatism, particularly. A socially Left alliance agrees.

As noted by The Washington Free Beacon, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation recently released its “Social Media Safety Index” report. And the summary doesn’t bode well where safety is concerned.

The report’s “executive summary” makes clear its mission:

The goal…is to push the major social media platforms to be accountable and transparent — specifically to the LGBTQ users they serve, but also to society as a whole. Platform Scorecard will be the central feature of this edition of SMSI 2. This Scorecard, which was developed in partnership with Goodwin Simon Strategic Research (and the noted Big Tech accountability watchdog organization, Ranking Digital Rights), provides an assessment on LGBTQ safety, privacy and expression across five platforms (Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. TikTok. YouTube.

Why is safety so important?

GLAAD President and Chief Executive Officer Sarah Kate Ellis writes:

Everyone is focusing on LGBTQ rights right now. Republican legislators introduced 325 antiLGBTQ bills since 2022. 130 specifically targeted transgender rights, particularly trans youth, in the first half of 2022.

Hate exists everywhere:

Attacking vulnerable groups of people as a political strategy, and stoking fear and hatred about them, is something we’ve seen across history. It’s a reprehensible practice — and the spread of such hate today is further facilitated by social media platforms. This type of rhetoric and “content” that dehumanizes LGBTQ people has real-world impact. These malicious and false narratives, relentlessly perpetuated by right-wing media and politicians, continue to negatively impact public understanding of LGBTQ people — driving hatred, and violence, against our community.

“At this point,” Sarah says, “after their years of empty apologies and hollow promises, we must also confront the knowledge that social media platforms and companies are prioritizing profit over LGBTQ safety and lives.”

Sarah and the rest “demand that social media platforms make their products safe for LGBTQ users.”

These are the problems identified in the report

  • inadequacy of content moderation or enforcement, including issues with anti- LGBTQ hateful material and over-moderation/censorship LGBTQ users
  • Negative and Polarizing Algorithms
  • an overall lack of transparency and accountability across the industry, among many…issues — all of which disproportionately impact LGBTQ users and other marginalized communities who are uniquely vulnerable to hate, harassment, and discrimination

“These problems,” the executive summary asserts, “are even more exacerbated for folks who are members of multiple communities (BIPOC, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, people of historically marginalized faiths, etc.).”

All users of social media platforms, regardless of their identity or gender, should be safe.

Over the past few years, there’s been tremendous talk of “safety.” So far as I can tell, the word often now means “agreement.”

Consider a 2016 threat to safety posed by Ben Shapiro; his weapon: potential words from a speech…

Whatever the contemporary meaning of the term, are social media’s scales of justice tilted against the rainbow coalition?

Surely more than a few people would lean toward “no.” As I covered mere weeks ago, Jordan Peterson was suspended from Twitter after “deadnaming” Elliot Page.

He is intolerable tweet:

“Remember when pride was a sin? And Ellen Page just had her breasts removed by a criminal physician.”

Shortly thereafter, political commentator Dave Rubin posted, “The insanity continues at Twitter. This tweet by @jordanbpeterson about Ellen Page has resulted in his suspension. He just told me he will ‘never’ delete the tweet.”

Dave was also suspended for that reason.

Still, GLAAD’s hoping for more: Social media must “improve (the) design of algorithms that [presently] circulate and amplify harmful content, extremism and hate.”

The Free Beacon

Every social media platform rated by GLAAD in the report scored under 50 on a scale of 100 for “LGBTQ safety.” Instagram scored the highest and TikTok the lowest. A website’s ability to allow gay users to post their pronouns online is one way to assess its safety.

Will social media soon be “safer?” Especially with the Musk deal currently canned, I’d say it’s a safe bet.

-ALEX

 

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