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    2024 Social Media Safety Index

    Rising Hate, Rising Profits: The Anti-LGBTQ Hate Industrial Complex

    2023 Annual Advertising Revenue By Platform:

    2023 Annual Advertising Revenue By Platform
    GLAAD’s Social Media Safety Program

    Facebook, Instagram, Threads — Meta
    According to Statista: “In 2023, Meta Platforms generated a revenue of over 134 billion U.S. dollars, up from 119 billion USD in 2022. The majority of Meta’s profits come from its advertising revenue, which amounted to 131.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.”[1]

    Reuters reports that: “ByteDance’s revenue of $120 billion in 2023 was up about 40% from a year earlier, driven by TikTok’s exploding growth, although China accounts for a big portion of the company’s sales, the FT reported, citing five people with knowledge of the matter.”[2]

    Statista notes that: “In 2023, YouTube’s global advertising revenues amounted to approximately 31.51 billion U.S. dollars, up by almost eight percent from the 29.2 billion U.S. dollars in the preceding fiscal period. Whereas the owned online video platform does not generate the same amount of revenue as Google’s key segment Search, it is nonetheless a significant money-maker for parent company Alphabet.”[3]

    X (Twitter)
    Ars Technica reports that: “Twitter’s revenue and adjusted earnings reportedly fell about 40 percent year over year in December 2022 amid an advertiser exodus following Elon Musk’s takeover. Twitter no longer reports earnings publicly since Musk bought the company and took it private in late October. But Twitter reported the December 2022 revenue and earnings declines in an update to investors.”[4] Bloomberg reports that X: “is on track to bring in roughly $2.5 billion in advertising revenue in 2023 — a significant slump from prior years.”[5]

    Looking at the extraordinarily high levels of revenue generated by these companies alongside the extraordinarily high (and rising) levels of hate speech on their platforms (see below), it is simply unconscionable to not see a greater investment in product safety from them. Note that since X and TikTok are private companies, these cited revenue numbers have been reported by news outlets but are not confirmed by the companies themselves.

    Most social media platforms and other online public spaces (ranging from gaming environments to website comments fields) continue to inadequately mitigate toxic hate and harmful rhetoric. While these companies are profiting from such hate (refusing to meaningfully enforce their own policies and even financially incentivizing false and hateful content), as consumers we can, and must, convey our expectations and reasonable desires for them to fulfill their own terms of service and to create safe products that do not inflict harms on society and democracy. Though such mitigations are by no means simple, as is true of other industries, tech companies should be required to meet basic product safety standards.

    More Publications from GLAAD

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