Anti-LGBTQ posts are ‘widespread’ on Meta’s platforms, report claims

28 Mar 2024

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A report from GLAAD claims Meta’s lack of enforcement has allowed anti-transgender content to ‘flourish’ on Facebook, Instagram and Threads.

LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD has criticised Meta for allegedly failing to stop the spread of “extreme anti-trans hate content” across its platforms.

The group shared a report with various examples of this type of offensive content on platforms including Facebook and Instagram. GLAAD said it reported all of the examples through Meta’s reporting systems.

The advocacy group claims Meta either replied that the posts did not violate its policies or “simply did not take action on them”. Meta did not respond to a request from for comment at time of publication.

“As the trillion-dollar company’s revenues soar, Meta continues to lay off critical trust and safety teams and increasingly relies on ineffective AI systems for content moderation,” GLAAD said in the report.

“Meanwhile, LGBTQ people and other targeted groups experience an increasing number of well-documented real-world harms stemming from these long-term anti-LGBTQ propaganda campaigns, driven by the anti-LGBTQ extremists that Meta allows to flourish on its platforms.”

GLAAD also claims Meta’s lack of enforcement led to “rebukes and concern” from its Oversight Board. This board overturned a decision by Meta last year to leave up a Facebook post in which a “user targeted transgender people with violent speech”.

The report shows various posts on Meta’s platforms that GLAAD claims directly breach the company’s policies around concepts such as hate speech, violence, harassment and suicide posts.

GLAAD says the posts include examples of users sharing “extreme anti-trans slurs”, statements designed to be “dehumanising” and content promoting conversion therapy.

“This is blatant hate speech that targets all transgender people, specifically on the basis of gender identity – in direct violation of Meta’s policies,” the report said about the use of certain derogatory slurs in some of these posts.

Last year, X – when it was known as Twitter – faced criticism after it updated its hateful conduct policy to remove specific protections for its transgender users. This included the removal of a line that prohibited “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals”. Last month, this policy appeared to go through back-and-forth changes.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic