Study shows that social media fails to protect LGBTQ+ users

A new study found that all major social media platforms fail in protecting LGBTQ+ users against harassment, discrimination and hatred.

In GLAAD’s 2022 Social Media Safety Index, no platform scored above 50% for criteria like safety, privacy and expression. Instagram topped the list with 48%. Next was its Meta-owned sibling Facebook, at 46%. YouTube came in at just 45%. TikTok was last with just 43%.

Platforms fell short when it came to fundamental measures, such as offering users option to add pronouns to their profiles, stating a commitment to protect LGBTQ+ users, and being transparent about content moderation and collection of data on users’ gender and sexuality.

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Although TikTok was not ranked last in the study, it was noted that only two companies were able to identify violations and had policies against willfull and inappropriate gendering. It scored well in the rest of the categories. This included the provision of gender pronouns as well as information regarding its content moderation protocol. The social media giant was criticised for allowing users to have limited control over content recommendations that are based on their gender or sexuality and leaving identity-targeted advertisements up to local laws. Furthermore, GLAAD says TikTok is the sole platform in the study that did not disclose what it’s doing to diversify its workforce.

The survey, which was conducted in May 2022 in conjunction with the study, revealed that many LGBTQ+ people feel unsafe using social media. 84% of those surveyed said that they don’t have enough protections. 40% of LGBTQ+ adults and 49% transgender and nonbinary persons said that they do not feel safe or welcome on these social media platforms.

66% of LGBTQ+ users report experiencing online harassment, and more than half have reported it. “severe harassment”In the form of harassment, doxxing, or stalking.

Check out the complete report here.

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