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‘Dehumanizing and disturbing’: GLAAD report reveals Meta’s ‘ongoing failure’ to enforce policies prohibiting transphobic content

'These accounts profit from such hate, and so does Meta and its shareholders.'


Tiffanie Drayton


Posted on Mar 27, 2024   Updated on Mar 27, 2024, 2:55 pm CDT

A new report from GLAAD found that anti-trans hate remains prevalent across Meta’s social media platforms. The data comes after years of the platform being called out for failing to meaningfully curb transphobia.

In June 2023, a coalition of over 250 LGBTQ celebrities, public figures, and allies penned an open letter facilitated by GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign urging Meta and other social media giants to tackle the proliferation of anti-transgender hate on their platforms. The letter highlighted the dissemination of harmful falsehoods about transgender healthcare, the propagation of malicious anti-LGBTQ narratives, and the relentless bullying and harassment faced by trans public figures.

Notable signatories included Elliot Page, Laverne Cox, Jamie Lee Curtis, among others.

Yet, over nine months later, a report by GLAAD’s Social Media Safety Program reveals that hateful content continues to proliferate across Instagram, Facebook, and Threads.

“The company’s ongoing failure to enforce their own policies against anti-LGBTQ, and especially anti-trans hate is simply unacceptable,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said of its findings.

GLAAD accused the social media giant of turning a blind eye to the hateful content and failing to take action—even when the content was reported for violating Meta’s policies. The organization said the content includes fear-mongering, conspiracy theories, violent language, dehumanizing language and is often spread by accounts with large followings.

“These accounts profit from such hate, and so does Meta and its shareholders,” GLAAD’s press release read. “Meanwhile, LGBTQ people and other targeted groups experience an increasing number of well-documented real-world harms stemming from these long-term anti-LGBTQ propaganda campaigns, driven by the anti-LGBTQ extremists that Meta allows to flourish on its platforms.”

It also criticized the company for reducing the number of workers responsible for moderating content and relying too heavily on AI systems to enforce its policies.

Meta did not respond to a request for comment sent via email.

The report provided numerous examples of such content and cited excerpts from Meta’s policies governing hate speech, violence and incitement, bullying and harassment, and posts about suicide and self-injury.

In some of the examples, trans people were referred to as “tranny” and/or “demonic,” “devils” or “satanic,” which clearly violates Meta’s policies. Others used dehumanizing slurs or falsely accused trans people of sexual deviance, including pedophilia.

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Meta’s policies prohibit posts that contain violent language targeting a person a group of people based on a protected characteristic or immigration status.

The report concluded that, despite Meta’s claim that it does not allow hate speech across its platforms, it is clear anti-trans posts remain widespread.

GLAAD reiterated its demand for the social media company to finally curb anti-trans hate.

“Meta (and other platforms) must urgently create and share plans for addressing: Content that spreads malicious lies and disinformation about healthcare for transgender youth; accounts and postings that perpetuate anti-LGBTQ extremist hate and disinformation (including the anti-LGBTQ ‘groomer’ trope), in violation of platform policies; dehumanizing, hateful attacks on prominent transgender public figures and influencers; and anti-transgender hate speech, including targeted misgendering, deadnaming, and hate-driven tropes,” it concluded.

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*First Published: Mar 27, 2024, 1:03 pm CDT