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Another LGBTQ+ Rights Group Leaves X/Twitter Over Transphobic Content

Social Media Cyberbully Twitter Elon Musk
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The education advocacy group GLSEN cited a report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate that identified deficiencies in monitoring hateful content.

The LGBTQ+ education advocacy group GLSEN announced it would temporarily halt its presence on X/Twitter due to the social media platform’s reported failure to curb transphobic content since its takeover by Elon Musk.

GLSEN made the announcement today in a statement and an open letter to X/Twitter, saying it was “deeply troubled” by recent policy decisions.

“Despite Twitter’s alleged commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity, we have witnessed discriminatory policies and harmful practices that continue to put LGBTQ+ youth at risk,” GLSEN said in the open letter posted to X/Twitter. “Cyberbullying, harassment, and the spread of harmful misinformation targeting LGBTQ+ individuals, especially youth, have escalated. The impact of this online discrimination extends to mental health, self-esteem, and, tragically, to cases of self-harm and suicide.

GLSEN called out the leadership of X/Twitter under Elon Musk, who purchased the platform in TKTK. GLSEN said recent policy changed enacted under Musk’s leadership “birthed a new platform” where users are free to “harass and target the LGBTQ+ community without restriction or discipline” for such hateful content from X/Twitter leadership.

“Twitter has become an increasingly unsafe platform for LGBTQ+ people, especially youth. Twitter’s leadership team is enabling anti-LGBTQ, anti-trans, anti-Black and antisemitic tweets by removing parts of their hateful conduct policy,” Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, executive director at GLSEN, said in a statement. “Our priority will always be the safety and well-being of our LGBTQ+ community. As long as the policies and practices of Twitter remain inadequate to address these concerns, we feel it is our responsibility to take action.”

GLSEN’s partner organizations supported the exit. These include The National Center for Transgender Equality, ActionLink, Equality Federation, Family Equality, PFLAG National, Lambda Legal, and Out & Equal.

GLSEN cited a report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) that claimed X/Twitter failed to act against 86 percent of posts that contained some form of hate speech. The study found 300 posts from 100 X/Twitter accounts that represented a potential violation of the platform’s hate speech policies. These alleged violations were reported to X/Twitter. When these posts were revisited one week later, researchers found that of the original 300 posts, 259 were still live, as were 90 of the 100 identified accounts.

Musk and X/Twitter filed a lawsuit against CCDH in September, accusing the group of fraud and breach of contract for the alleged illegal access of information.

GLSEN ended its open letter by inviting X/Twitter to enact change.

“We invite Twitter/X to engage in an open dialogue to address these pressing concerns and to work towards a safer online environment for all users,” GLSEN wrote.

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