All of the major social-media platforms are “categorically unsafe” for LGBTQ people, according to a new report by GLAAD.
In an interview with “Axios on HBO” that aired Sunday night, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said the sites — which include Facebook
and Instagram, Twitter
YouTube and TikTok — don’t do enough to protect LGBTQ users from being harassed and threatened.
“There are real-world consequences to what happens online,” Ellis said, linking the current wave of anti-trans bills around the country to harassment they face on social media. “I think that there are direct lines to, unfortunately, suicides of our community.”
Ellis told Axios that GLAAD originally planned to issue grades for each social-media site, but scrapped that when it became apparent “they’d all fail, quite frankly.” Ellis said that instead, GLAAD is seeking to provide a framework for how social-media sites can improve and become safer spaces for all users. “This is about less watchdogging, more partnering with these platforms to get it right” she said.
“We’re looking for real, concrete changes in the next year,” she said. “What shocked me the most about all of this is at the end of the day, these companies have the tools to stop it immediately.”
Ellis noted that there are “absolutely bright spots,” with LGBTQ people finding support online. “However, the challenge right now is that the negative is outweighing the positive.”
In statements to Axios, each social-network company said they welcome GLAAD’s feedback and are committed to improving. “This is why we partner with experts, non-profits and other stakeholders — like GLAAD — to try to get it right,” Facebook Chief Marketing Officer Alex Schultz told Axios in a statement.