“True allies do not profit from anti-LGBTQ hate.”
- View the press release here.
June 27, 2023
Mark Zuckerberg, Meta Platforms, Inc.
Neal Mohan, YouTube/Alphabet Inc.
Shou Zi Chew, TikTok/ ByteDance Ltd.
Linda Yaccarino and Elon Musk, Twitter, Inc./X Corp
As celebrities, influencers, and prominent public figures with significant followings on social media, we the undersigned are calling on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter to fulfill the promises you’ve made to transgender, nonbinary, gender non-conforming and all LGBTQ users in your terms of service. There has been a massive systemic failure to prohibit hate, harassment, and malicious anti-LGBTQ disinformation on your platforms and it must be addressed.
Dangerous posts (both content and ads) created and circulated by high-follower anti-LGBTQ hate accounts targeting transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people are thriving across your platforms, directly resulting in terrifying real-life1 harm2 including bomb threats3 targeting children’s hospitals that offer healthcare for trans youth, and death threats4 targeting care providers.5 Such false and hate-driven widely circulated content on your platforms is even being cited by lawmakers advancing discriminatory legislation against trans people.6 Targeted misgendering and deadnaming of trans and nonbinary people is a widespread mode of hate speech7 across all platforms, utilized to bully and harass prominent public figures while simultaneously expressing hatred and contempt for trans and non-binary people in general.8
This disinformation and hate, inadequately moderated on your platforms, plays an outsized role in the sharp increase in real-world anti-transgender targeting and violence.9 As documented by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in 2022,10 this is particularly the case when it comes to the online extremists leading proactive coordinated campaigns of hate and lies about gender affirming healthcare for trans youth.11 Despite the fact that every leading medical and psychological association affirms the safety and necessity of gender affirming healthcare for trans people, including youth, inflammatory disinformation falsely asserting that this healthcare is dangerous is allowed to fester on your platforms because it drives clicks and profit. Trans youth and their families and care providers are being endangered by your negligence, causing many families to flee their homes.12
Your policies and corresponding enforcement are inadequate when it comes to mitigating harmful and dangerous anti-LGBTQ content. You must urgently take action to protect trans and LGBTQ users on your platforms (including protecting us from over-enforcement and censorship).
We call for you to meet with community leaders and creators to hear about these real world harms that result from anti-trans content on your platforms — and to create and share plans for how you will address:
- Content that spreads malicious lies and disinformation about medically necessary healthcare for transgender youth. As described above, such harmful content from high-follower hate-based accounts has resulted in extraordinary real-world harms.13 Specific mitigations on such disinformation must be developed (for instance akin to election and COVID-19 mitigations and rules).
- Accounts and postings that perpetuate anti-LGBTQ extremist hate14 and disinformation,15 in violation of platform policies, and which target trans and LGBTQ people, including baseless and malicious disinformation of LGBTQ people being threats to children (e.g. the anti-LGBTQ “groomer” conspiracy theory16). Such harmful and dangerous lies must be more effectively moderated and mitigated.
- Dehumanizing, hateful attacks on prominent transgender public figures and influencers. Online attacks against LGBTQ organizations and individuals are on the rise.17 A recent report from GLAAD, UltraViolet, Kairos, and the Women’s March shows that 60% of LGBTQ people feel harmed not only from direct harassment and hate, but from witnessing harassment against other LGBTQ community members such as celebrities and public figures.18 Directing hate against LGBTQ public figures is a common vehicle for expressing general anti-LGBTQ bigotry. When your companies maintain policy loopholes that allow such hate, this perpetuates harm against entire communities.
- Anti-transgender hate speech, including targeted misgendering, deadnaming, and hate-driven tropes.19 For example, Media Matters, GLAAD and others have identified multiple YouTube videos — which have accumulated millions of views — that bully, harass, and misgender trans people. In each video, prominent anti-trans pundits use YouTube to demean, target, and misgender young people, their parents, and public figures20 in videos saturated with blatant anti-trans rhetoric. These videos remain active despite these violations having been reported by Media Matters, GLAAD, and other organizations to YouTube.
We know that leading national organizations, including GLAAD, HRC, Media Matters for America, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, ADL, and others, share research and guidance with your companies and escalate violative content. And yet your mitigations remain woefully inadequate. The very content you profit from is in violation of your own terms of service, which assert that you do not allow hate speech.21
True allies do not profit from anti-LGBTQ hate.
We speak together with one voice to demand that your companies create and enforce stronger content and ad policies to directly confront the content that is causing online and offline harm to transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.
Alyssa May Gold
Bob the Drag Queen
Camille A Brown
Diana Maria Riva
Emily V. Gordon
Haley Baldwin Bieber
Jamie Lee Curtis
Jonathan Van Ness
Kamar de los Reyes
Kimber Elayne Sprawl
Laith De La Cruz
Michael D. Cohen
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez
Our Lady J
Scott Turner Schofield
T. Oliver Reid
Tracee Ellis Ross
Yves Mathieu East
 DIGITAL HATE