This article was published on July 18, 2022

Social media platforms score alarmingly low in LGBTQ community protection

No surprises here


Social media platforms score alarmingly low in LGBTQ community protection Image by: pxfuel (Edited)
Ioanna Lykiardopoulou
Story by

Ioanna Lykiardopoulou

Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives. Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives.

LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD recently published its 2022 Social Media Safety Index, which claims that some of the major social media platforms are failing to safeguard users of the community.

GLAAD evaluated the companies using 12 LGBTQ-specific indicators of online safety in regard to privacy, freedom of expression, and explicit protections.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok, all scored poorly on the group’s scorecard — less than 50% out of 100%.

Here are the detailed scores from highest to lowest:

  1. Instagram: 48.38%
  2. Facebook: 46.3%
  3. YouTube: 45.11%
  4. Twitter: 44.7%
  5. TikTok: 42.51%

Among the most alarming concerns pinpointed by the report is targeted deadnaming and misgendering, with Twitter and TikTok being the only platforms offering adequate protection.

YouTube and Twitter users aren’t able to add their prefered pronoun, while Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok either don’t offer the option to all users, or don’t allow users to control who sees their pronoun.

All platforms fail to provide their users with adequate control over how their gender and identity data is collected and shared, both in terms of recommendations and targeted advertising.

To make matters worse, they’ve also scored disturbingly low when it comes to demonetizing or removing LGBTQ legitimate content. The highest score for YouTube was a mere 21.43%, followed by 7.14% for Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, and 0% for Twitter.

Plus, Twitter and YouTube provide zero LGBTQ training to their content moderators. Although the other companies do provide training, the survey found they need to step up these efforts with Instagram and Facebook scoring 25% in this area and TikTok reaching only 50%.

On the bright side (as bright as it can be), nearly all platforms score above 80% on workforce diversity (except for TikTok at 0%), and are doing a good job in prohibiting harmful advertising.

GLAAD recommends stronger policy commitments, increased user options for data control, and, above all, transparency.

If you’re interested in reading the report in detail, you can find it here.