If there’s one thing social media needs more of, it’s censorship — a clamping down of conservatism, particularly. So says a socially Left alliance.
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. The centerpiece of this second edition of the SMSI is our Platform Scorecard. Created in partnership with Goodwin Simon Strategic Research and the noted Big Tech accountability watchdog group, Ranking Digital Rights, the Scorecard offers an evaluation of LGBTQ safety, privacy, and expression on five major platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube) based on 12 LGBTQ- specific indicators.
And why is safety such a concern?
In a letter, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis explains:
LGBTQ people are under attack right now, all across the globe. Since the start of 2022, Republican lawmakers have proposed 325 anti-LGBTQ bills, 130 of which specifically target the rights of transgender people, especially trans youth.
Hate is all around:
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.”
Problems identified by the report:
- inadequate content moderation and enforcement (including issues with both anti- LGBTQ hateful content and over-moderation/ censorship of LGBTQ users)
- harmful 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.).”
Social media platforms should be safe for everyone, in all of who they are.
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.
His 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. @jordanbpeterson has been suspended for this tweet about Ellen Page. He just told me he will ‘never’ delete the tweet.”
For that, Dave got suspended, too.
Still, GLAAD’s hoping for more: Social media must “improve (the) design of algorithms that [presently] circulate and amplify harmful content, extremism and hate.”
From 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. One category used to determine how safe a website was for gay people is whether it had a dedicated feature for users to list their pronouns on their profiles.
Will social media soon be “safer?” Especially with the Musk deal currently canned, I’d say it’s a safe bet.
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