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Social media platforms score alarmingly low in protecting LGBTQ communities

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LGBTQ Media Advocacy Organization SMOOTH recently published his Social Media Safety Index for 2022alleging that some of the major social media platforms fail to protect community users.

GLAAD evaluated the companies against 12 LGBTQ-specific indicators of online safety related to privacy, freedom of expression and explicit protection.

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

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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%

One of the most alarming concerns identified by the report focuses on deadly naming and misleading, with Twitter and TikTok being the only platforms offering adequate protection.

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

All platforms do not give their users sufficient control over how their gender and identity information is collected and shared, both in terms of recommendations and targeted advertising.

To make matters worse, they have also scored alarmingly low when it comes to demonizing or removing legitimate LGBTQ content. The highest score for YouTube was only 21.43%, followed by 7.14% for Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, and 0% for Twitter.

In addition, Twitter and YouTube do not provide LGBTQ training to their content moderators. While the other companies provide training, the survey found they need to ramp up these efforts, with Instagram and Facebook scoring 25% in this area and TikTok only 50%.

On the plus side (as smart as it gets), almost all platforms score over 80% on workforce diversity (except TikTok at 0%), and do a good job of banning malicious ads.

GLAAD recommends stronger policy commitments, more user options for data control, and most importantly, transparency.

If you want to read the report in detail, you can find it here.

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