Meta fails to curtain anti-trans hate on its platforms

GLAAD’s report underscores the need for stronger regulations and enforcement mechanisms to hold social media platforms accountable for moderating hate speech and protecting user safety.

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A recent report by GLAAD sheds light on the pervasive presence of anti-trans content across Meta’s platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Threads. According to GLAAD, Meta has failed to adequately moderate extreme anti-trans hate, as evidenced by the continued presence of posts promoting harmful practices like conversion therapy, mass killing of trans people, and derogatory slurs. This content often leads to mass harassment, with victims subjected to online abuse and real-life violence, as explained by GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a press release.

Moreover, GLAAD’s report highlights that much of the anti-trans content violates multiple community standards, particularly Hate Speech, on Meta’s platforms and often originates from high-follower accounts profiting from spreading hateful anti-LGBTQ narratives. Fear-mongering posts containing lies, conspiracy theories, and violent rhetoric drive engagement and revenue for both account owners and Meta, raising ethical concerns about the platform’s role in amplifying hate speech.

Furthermore, GLAAD’s report raises questions about the effectiveness of current content moderation practices and the accountability of social media platforms in combating hate speech. Despite calls from LGBTQ celebrities, public figures, and allies for greater protection against anti-trans hate in an open letter in June 2023, Meta’s platforms continue to serve as breeding grounds for harmful content, highlighting systemic failures in addressing online extremism.

Why does it matter?

GLAAD’s findings underscore the urgent need for social media companies like Meta to take concrete action against online hate speech targeting marginalised communities – particularly when they are scaling down their misinformation and hate speech moderation teams. The prevalence of anti-trans content not only violates Meta’s community standards but also perpetuates harmful stereotypes and contributes to real-world harm, including violence against transgender individuals.