Online Anti-LGBTQ Hate Terms Defined: “CloverGender”
The example below includes a hateful term, phrases and imagery.
“CloverGender”Another deliberate attempt to conflate the LGBTQ community with pedophilia is the “CloverGender’ meme, which originated on 4chan in 2017, according to The Advocate. One aspect of these hate-driven “PsyOps” campaigns is the creation of fake social media accounts in which supposed “clovergenders” proclaim their identity as part of the LGBTQ community to thereby damage the community with the assertion, note the additional layer of psychological manipulation above in the made-up argument distinguishing this identity from pedophilia. Revived in 2020, these memes continue to circulate on social media despite being debunked by Snopes, USA Today, (“Fact check: ‘Clovergender’ isn’t part of the LGBTQ community”); and Reuters (“Fact check: ‘Clovergender’ is an alt-right hoax”). As Reuters summarizes: “Posts on social media claim that people identifying as ‘Clovergender’ are attempting to justify pedophilia. This damaging claim stems from an alt-right hoax intended to slur members of the LGBT community.” Explore more via GLAAD’s Guide to Anti-LGBTQ Online Hate and Disinformation.
This is just one example of anti-LGBTQ online hate and disinformation. Every term and concept should be evaluated in context. For instance, LGBTQ people and allies may use hashtags with hate terms as counterspeech, or slurs such as “tranny” or “dyke” may be used self-referentially to reclaim them. This guide will be updated on an ongoing basis. Please see the latest GLAAD Social Media Safety Index report for a deeper exploration of the current social media landscape for LGBTQ people, including GLAAD’s recommendations and thought leadership in the field.
How to Report Anti-LGBTQ Online Hate Speech and Harassment
Every major social media platform has policies which prohibit hate and harassment on the basis of protected characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity. To learn how to report potentially violative content, check out GLAAD’s LGBTQ Digital Safety Guide, which includes basic tips on helping our community be more safe online.
A Note of Acknowledgement
GLAAD is grateful to the many organizations and individuals doing this important work. We especially want to acknowledge the team at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center and the ADL’s Hate On Display™: Hate Symbols Database, which has served as a model for this project.
About the GLAAD Social Media Safety Program
As the leading national LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD is working every day to hold tech companies and social media platforms accountable, and to secure safe online spaces for LGBTQ people. GLAAD’s Social Media Safety program actively researches, monitors and reports on a variety of issues facing LGBTQ social media users — with a focus on safety, privacy and expression — advocating for solutions in numerous realms: online hate and harassment, AI bias, polarizing algorithms, data privacy, and more. The annual Social Media Safety Index (SMSI) provides recommendations for the industry at large and reports on LGBTQ user safety across the five major social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok. Learn more by reading the annual GLAAD Social Media Safety Index & Platform Scorecard.