April 25, 2022

GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, is responding to news that Twitter will be sold and controlled by Elon Musk. The sale is subject to the approval of Twitter stockholders.

Musk has a record of posting content targeting LGBTQ people and other marginalized people. Twitter has posted “The Twitter Rules” to “ensure all people can participate in the public conversation freely and safely” which includes rules against targeted abuse or harassment or incitement of such targeting, based on protected characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity. 

GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, responded on Twitter and here:
“Twitter should hold to its principles and the industry standard of prohibiting speech that endangers people, spreads misinformation, and incites harassment and abuse. LGBTQ people are at disproportionate risk for harassment online and violence in real life. The cost of hate speech further erodes basic safety and civility across society. Elon Musk and his investors should prioritize content moderation to create spaces where truth is elevated over harmful and inaccurate opinions and where public figures are held accountable." 

GLAAD released its inaugural Social Media Safety Index last May evaluating LGBTQ user safety experience across the social media landscape, showing the entire sector is effectively unsafe for LGBTQ users, with high prevalence and intensity of hate speech and harassment.

The Index provided recommendations for the industry at large and reports on LGBTQ user safety across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok. Read the full report here. 

GLAAD also launched a Listing of Anti-LGBTQ Online Hate Speech as an additional ongoing tool and resource for achieving greater online safety. Modeled after the ADL’s Hate Symbols Database, this resource lists anti-LGBTQ conduct and content and creates accountability for the platforms to address it.