GLAAD Digital

GLAAD Digital accomplishes the organization's mission of accelerating acceptance by protecting the digital lifeline that is vital for LGBTQ people. We work directly with tech companies on product and policy decisions, engage the LGBTQ community through online organizing, and create public discourse that simplifies and humanizes complex technical issues.

About GLAAD Digital

The digital team at GLAAD works with tech companies, advocacy groups, and community leaders to improve the experience of marginalized communities online.

Our focus is to make social media safe for LGBTQ people. Any possible solution will require community involvement from LGBTQ experts when tech product and policy decisions are being made. GLAAD's digital work is an important cross-industry step toward finding solutions to this, and other issues of bias in technology that need to be addressed, with the goal of creating safer online spaces for all of us.

Featured Work

  • The Economist: Letter to the Editor in response to Stanford research claiming artificial intelligence can be used to spot signs of sexuality.
  • CNN Tech: Inside the digital war against online bias.
  • The Webby Awards podcast: How to create technology that is equitable and safe for all.
  • INTO: How the repeal of net neutrality will affect LGBTQ people.
  • MarketWatch: Google’s parent company is using AI to make the internet safer for LGBTQ people.
  • SXSW: panel moderated by CNN's Laurie Keith featuring GLAAD, activist DeRay Mckesson, and Jigsaw's CJ Adams.
  • BBC: Chinese social media giant, Sina Weibo, reverses its decision to ban LGBTQ content.

Timeline of LGBTQ Issues Online

2010    

  • October Facebook creates Network of Support to address policy issues faced by the LGBTQ community in keeping the internet safe.

2014

  • February Facebook makes a product change to add a custom gender field for transgender and gender nonconforming people.
  • September Symantec recognizes its web filtering system penalizes LGBTQ content and makes a product change to treat LGBTQ content equally.

2015

  • June Facebook’s real-names policy unfairly suspends transgender users and drag queens from the platform.

2016

2017

  • June Tumblr's safe mode blocks LGBTQ content as NSFW
  • September Stanford research on AI that claims it can detect sexual orientation is placed under ethical review after GLAAD's Letter to the Editor of The Economist
  • September Google Jigsaw releases Perspective showing highest levels of toxicity for phrase “I am a gay black woman”
  • November Twitter blocks the words bisexual, gay, and queer from search results.
  • November Facebook ads from fake Russian accounts are released that use LGBTQ people as a wedge issue.

2018

  • January Google AdWords blocks bisexual and gay as sexually-explicit content
  • January YouTube Restricted Mode still filters out LGBTQ content
  • January Instagram shadowbanning reportedly filtering out hastags #gay #bi and #lesbian among many other hashtags
  • February Facebook denies the Trevor Project's ad because the copy contains the phrase" LGBTQ"
  • March GLAAD and Google's parent company Alphabet announce collaboration to promote LGBTQ-inclusive AI research
  • May GLAAD helps draft the Toronto Principles, a set of standards and obligations for the creation of AI to respect human rights

Partners