The example below includes a hateful term, phrases and imagery.
“LGBTP”This fake acronym began circulating as a malignant meme in 2016 and 2017, and had a fresh resurgence in 2020. It promotes the lie that the LGBTQ community is adding a letter “P” for “pedosexual” to the LGBT acronym. Researchers in the field of online extremism have identified this as an example of an anti-LGBT “PsyOps” campaign intended to harm the LGBT community. A 2020 Reuters “Fact Check” reports: “The LGBTQ community does not condone ‘pedosexuals’ and no groups have shared that they do. These claims are false.” A 2020 USA Today fact check also notes: “The assertion that the LGBTQ community condones or supports pedophilia is not only false, but rooted in a history of bigotry.” As writer John Paul Brammer notes in Them, “LGBTP” has connections to “CloverGender,” another invented term originating from 4chan that falsely claims that some trans people “identify” as underage and therefore should be allowed to date minors. The goal is twofold, he writes: “to get cisgender heterosexual people to associate the LGBTQ+ community with sexual predators, and to get the LGBTQ+ community to mount a genuine defense against the accusation that it is harboring pedophiles within our circles, thus, on some level, validating the assertion. These repudiations, while virtuous in intent, still give the trolls what they want. They want to use the preexisting stigma against LGBTQ+ people to demonize us.” 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.