YAHOO! REMOVES VIOLENT ANTI-GAY COMMENTS FROM ADAM LAMBERT INTERVIEW

GLAAD to continue work with Yahoo! to create safer spaces for all users

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

February 2, 2012

New York, NY, February 2, 2012 – GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today announced that Yahoo! has removed violent, anti-gay comments posted to the site’s Y! Music ‘Reality Rocks’ blog and will continue work to address anti-LGBT comments on its platforms.

For more information on the comments and Yahoo! Safely visit: http://www.glaad.org/blog/yahoo-works-glaad-remove-violent-anti-gay-comments-adam-lambert-interview

Readers alerted GLAAD to violent comments that violated Yahoo! Terms of Services posted in response to an interview with openly gay recording artist Adam Lambert. Some comments promoted anti-gay violence and even encouraged suicide. Among the most egregious of responses was: “It would make my day if someone was to do to [Lambert] what those men did to Matthew Shepard.” Shepard was the 21-year-old University of Wyoming student who was brutally beaten and left for dead on the outskirts of Laramie, WY in 1998.

GLAAD reached out to Yahoo! and alerted the company. In response, Yahoo! quickly suspended all commenting on this post and will continue to work with GLAAD on addressing the issue of comments that violate Terms of Service by promoting hatred and violence toward LGBT people.

"Young music fans should be able to interact and comment on sites without seeing violent, hateful comments directed at LGBT people," said GLAAD's Director of Digital Initiatives, Allison Palmer. "Yahoo! did the right thing by taking immediate action to enforce their Terms of Service, setting an important example for other leading websites and tech companies."

Yahoo! stated that the company “does not allow content that promotes hatred against users or groups of users. Protected categories include, but are not limited to race, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Yahoo! takes issues like this very seriously. We provide methods for users to report content that they believe to be abusive.  Yahoo! reviews these reports and takes appropriate action according to our Terms of Service.”

Both Yahoo! and GLAAD urge users to report violent, hateful comments to site administrators.

In 2010, GLAAD started similar work with Facebook and helped create the “Network of Support,” an educational initiative that works to put an end to anti-LGBT cyberbullying, which includes other LGBT and youth organizations.