According to Gallup, and quoted by CNN, the LBGTQ+ community made up 7.1% of the US population in 2021. In today’s interconnected world, community platforms play a significant role in fostering a sense of belonging and facilitating connections among diverse individuals. As platform managers, you have the power to shape these spaces and create an inclusive environment for all users, including LGBTQ+ individuals.
However, recent reports have highlighted the failure of major social media platforms in protecting their LGBTQ+ users, which serves as a crucial lesson for all community platform managers. Let’s explore these learnings and understand how we can do better.
6 Measures to Protect LGBTQ+ Communities
- Acknowledge the Reality: Major social media platforms, including some of the biggest names in the industry, have struggled to protect their LGBTQ+ users adequately. Reports from respected sources like GLAAD, The Hill, Forbes, and others have highlighted the presence of discrimination, harassment, and hate speech targeted at LGBTQ+ individuals on these platforms. Acknowledging this reality is the first step toward creating positive change.
- Evaluate Existing Policies: Take a close look at your platform’s policies regarding user conduct, hate speech, harassment, and discrimination. Are they robust enough to safeguard LGBTQ+ users? Are they enforced consistently? These questions must be answered honestly, and areas of improvement should be identified.
- Improve Reporting Mechanisms: LGBTQ+ users often face reluctance or fear when reporting harassment or abusive content. Ensure that your reporting mechanisms are easily accessible, confidential, and user-friendly. Train your moderation teams to be empathetic and responsive to these reports, providing timely assistance.
- Collaborate with LGBTQ+ Advocates: Engage with LGBTQ+ organizations and advocates to understand the challenges they face on social media platforms. Partner with them to co-create safer spaces that reflect the community’s needs, concerns, and aspirations.
- Protect User Privacy: LGBTQ+ individuals may face heightened risks of discrimination, harassment, or even harm in some regions or communities. As community platform managers, ensuring robust privacy measures can foster a safer space.
- Effective Moderation Technologies: Leverage cutting-edge moderation technologies to complement human efforts. Implement advanced AI-driven tools that can analyze content and make sure abusive users can not easily bypass your moderation measures once taken.
In conclusion, the failures of major social media platforms to protect LGBTQ+ users serve as valuable lessons for all community platform managers. Let’s come together and prioritize the safety and inclusivity of our platforms, fostering an environment where everyone feels respected, welcomed, and free to express their authentic selves.
For further reading on the failures of well-known social media platforms, explore the following sources:
- GLAAD – Major Social Media Platforms Fail to Fully Protect LGBTQ+ Users: Link
- The Hill – Major Social Media Platforms Failing to Keep LGBTQ+ Users Safe: Link
- Forbes – Report: These 5 Social Media Platforms Fail to Keep LGBTQ+ Users Safe: Link
- The Economic Times – Twitter Worst Among Major Social Media Platforms When It Comes to LGBTQ+ Safety, GLAAD Says: Link
- Metro Weekly – If Social Media Is Unsafe for the LGBTQ+ Community, Start Our Own: Link