A new report from GLAAD and Media Matters shows how Anti-LGBTQ hate has risen on Twitter since Elon Musk acquired the company. These data coincide with the controversial content moderation decisions that Musk has taken at the helm of Twitter, such as dissolving its Trust and Security Council Y reincorporating accounts like James Lindsay, Jordan Peterson, and Babylon Bee, who were previously banned for violating Twitter’s rules on hateful content.
Researchers analyzed nine popular right-wing accounts to chart their use of the anti-LGBTQ insulting “barber.” Overall, these accounts saw a 1,200% increase in tweets or retweets using the slur, an increase from 3,600 instances to 48,000. In July, before Musk took over the social media platform, the term ” hairdresser” was considered a violation of Twitter’s hateful conduct policy when used in the context of discussing gender identity.
In more traditional usage, “groomer” refers to adults seeking to establish connections with minors in order to sexually abuse them; but among certain right-wing influencers, the term is used as a slur to make baseless and hate-filled accusations against LGBTQ people.
This rhetoric intensified when Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) passed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in March, which prohibits kindergarten through third-grade teachers from teaching about gender identity or sexual orientation, as well as for teachers in all grades to address topics that might not be”appropriate age.” critics to have he pointed that he vague language of this bill could be interpreted too broadly, causing concern and confusion among Florida school districts. As the law went into effect in July, some teachers said that their school districts forbade them to wear a rainbow flag pin or have a photo on your desk of your family if you were in a same-sex relationship. Now, House Republicans have introduced a nationwide “Don’t Say Gay”-like bill, called “Law to stop the sexualization of children.”
According to an August report from the Human Rights Campaign, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric about grooming increased by 400% on social networks after the passage of “Don’t Say Gay”.
In the days after Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX met with representatives of various civil rights groups to discuss the future of the platform. According to statements of leaders who attended During the meeting, Musk said he would not reinstate previously banned Twitter users until there is a transparent process to do so. Musk also pledged to include representatives of groups experiencing hate-fueled violence on his proposed content moderation board.
But more than a month later, Musk’s process for reinstating the banned accounts remains as opaque as ever. He appears to be making content moderation decisions by running impromptu Twitter polls throughout the day, which he used to justify reincorporating Account of former President Donald Trump. Another poll inspired Musk to offer “amnesty” to suspended account holders, as long as they have not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.”
This proposed content moderation council, which would include representatives of marginalized groups, has yet to materialize.
Musk himself has engaged in anti-LGBTQ dialogue on Twitter. This weekend only, he tweeted, “My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci,” somehow managing to mock both trans people and one of the country’s best-known public health officials in just five words. Prior to the Musk ownership, Twitter had a policy to mitigate the spread of misinformation about COVID-19, but as of November 23, Twitter is no longer enforced that policy. Throughout 2020, he promoted vaccine skepticism Y disinformation about COVID-19, while also targeting LGBTQ people with statements like “pronouns suck.”
Former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted Musk’s “Prosecute/Fauci” tweet, writing: “Elon please do not mock or promote hate towards already marginalized and at-risk members of the #LGBTQ+ community. ”.
Musk responded: “I strongly disagree. Forcing your pronouns on others when they didn’t ask you to, and implicitly ostracizing those who don’t, is neither good nor kind to anyone.”
Musk’s tweets have also caused direct damage to Twitter’s former head of Trust and Safety, Yoel Roth. Roth, an openly gay Jewish man, held his own on Twitter for a few weeks after Musk’s inauguration before finally go down.
As Musk works with former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss and former Rolling Stone editor Matt Taibbi to publish a series of hitherto disappointing revelations called “The Twitter Files,” he has dug into Roth’s academic research: his doctoral thesis, “gay data”, examined the role of the dating app Grindr in gay culture. Musk posted snippets out of context from the newspaper in an attempt to smear roth with unsubstantiated claims of support for child sexualization, exemplifying the same anti-LGBTQ “barber” rhetoric that has proliferated under his watch.
On Monday night, CNN reported that Roth was forced to run away from home due to increased physical threats.