According to a report from advocacy group GLAAD published this week, Facebook and other social media giants are failing to protect LGBTQ users from hate and harassment online.
The group’s second-annual Social Media Safety Index graded Facebook on LGBTQ safety, privacy and expression using 12 LGBTQ-specific standards. Facebook (and every other platform surveyed) scored below 50 percent. For its part, Facebook pledged to continue working closely with its partners in the civil rights community to improve its products. However, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis was skeptical of the company’s words, accusing it of prioritizing profit over the well-being of its users.
“The hate and harassment, as well as misinformation and flat-out lies about LGBTQ people, that go viral on social media are creating real-world dangers,” Ellis wrote in the report. “At this point, 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.”
GLAAD also urged Facebook to become more transparent about how it teaches content moderators to deal with these issues. However, unless Facebook continues dealing with this sort of outside pressure, it’s unlikely to make any big changes.
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