GLAAD's Upcoming Social Media Safety Index will Rate Platforms on LGBTQ Safety

By |
February 26, 2021

GLAAD today announced plans for the GLAAD Social Media Safety Index, a first-of-its-kind report to rate social media platforms on how safe they are for LGBTQ users and provide recommendations for policy and product updates. The news broke this morning in this morning's Axios Login newsletter by Ina Fried. 

“Social media is a lifeline for LGBTQ people, but too often we face real harm that goes unchecked by the platforms,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “LGBTQ policies and product updates have long been low on priority lists, even as the tech industry is finally waking up to the issues that marginalized communities face on their platforms. Drawing on GLAAD’s proven track record of leveraging similar reports and programs to advance LGBTQ inclusion in Hollywood, our Social Media Safety Index will hold social media platforms accountable and provide a roadmap for creating safer and more inclusive online spaces.”

The inaugural Index will launch in Spring 2021 and is supported by Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the Gill Foundation. The Social Media Safety Index will present a distillation of thought leadership in the field gleaned from conversations with leading tech experts.

Tech leaders serving on the GLAAD Social Media Safety Index advisory committee for the project include:  

  • Kara Swisher, contributing writer and host of the ‘Sway’ podcast at The New York Times; co-host of Pivot podcast at New York Media
  • Maria Ressa, Journalist & CEO, Rappler
  • Brandi Collins-Dexter, Visiting Research Fellow, Shorenstein Center and Senior Fellow, Color of Change
  • Dr. Sarah T. Roberts, Co-Director, UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry
  • Marlena Wisniak, Co-Director, Taraaz
  • Lucy Bernholz, Director, Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford University
  • Liz Fong-Jones, Principal Developer Advocate for SRE & Observability, Honeycomb
  • Leigh Honeywell, CEO and Co-Founder, Tall Poppy
  • Jenni Olson, co-founder & Senior Project Consultant
  • Rich Ferraro, GLAAD Chief Communications Officer

GLAAD’s annual Where We Are on TV Report and the Studio Responsibility Index are known for holding TV networks, streaming platforms, and film studios accountable and have directly resulted in new inclusive series and films. Now, GLAAD is expanding this work to similarly hold social media platforms accountable and provide a roadmap to improve LGBTQ user experience. The GLAAD Social Media Safety Index will shine a spotlight on the issue of online safety for LGBTQ people and serve as a valuable catalyst for accountability and change — analyzing current content and advertising policies as well as documenting misinformation, hate speech, privacy, and other issues that LGBTQ people uniquely face.