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250+ Celebs, GLAAD & HRC Demand Social Media CEOs End Anti-Trans Hate

250+ Celebs, GLAAD & HRC Demand Social Media CEOs End Anti-Trans Hate

Dan Levy, Shea Coulee, Elliot Page, and Ariana Grande
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The open letter to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter calls for an end to the viral lies and disinformation being spread on their platforms.

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It’s no secret that social media platforms have become a hotbed of vicious viral campaigns of misinformation about the LGBTQ+ community. Today, GLAAD, HRC, and over 250 notable queer people and allies are calling for an end to these narratives — and they’re going straight to the CEOs to do so.

Among those 250+ notable people and allies are Elliot Page, Laverne Cox, Ariana Grande, Billy Eichner, Shea Couleé, Shawn Mendes, Billy Porter, Camila Cabello, Gabrielle Union-Wade, Cynthia Erivo, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Dan Levy, Sia, Demi Lovato, Hailey Baldwin Bieber, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janelle Monáe, Alok, Jonathan Van Ness, Judd Apatow, and Taika Waititi.

In an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg (Meta/Facebook/Instagram), Neal Mohan (YouTube), Shou Zi Chew (TikTok), Linda Yaccarino (Twitter), and Elon Musk (Twitter), they called for the companies to keep their promises to the LGBTQ+ community and clean up the hateful rhetoric currently being hosted and signal boosted via their products.

The consignees point to both the content and ads being created and circulated by influencers that intentionally target the LGBTQ+ community, in particular trans and nonbinary people. These are posts that spread misinformation and lead to dangerous, real-life harm to those groups. “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. As documented by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in 2022, 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,” they write in the letter.

The letter goes on to lay out a plan of how to address these issues. The authors close by stating the obvious: “True allies do not profit from anti-LGBTQ hate.”

Read the letter and list of signatories in full below:

June 27, 2023

To:
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.

Sincerely,

Abby Wambach
Adam Eli
Aitch Alberto
AJ Shively
Alan Cumming
Alejandra Caraballo
Alejandra Ghersi
Alex Clark
Alexandra Gutierrez
Alisa Ramirez
Allie Leonard
Allison Goldfrapp
ALOK Vaid-Menon
Alyssa May Gold
Alyssa Milano
Amber Ruffin
Amber Tamblyn
Amy Schumer
Amy Landecker
Andrew Polk
Angelica Ross
Annaleigh Ashford
Antoni Porowski
Aparna Brielle
Arden Myrin
Ariana Grande
Arisce Wanzer
Avan Jogia
Barbie Ferreira
Bella Ramsey
Ben Barnes
Benito Skinner
Benj Pasek
Bethany Cosentino
Bethany Leavel
Billy Eichner
Billy Porter
Bleta Rexha
Bob the Drag Queen
Bobby Berk
Bonnie Milligan
Brad Oscar
Bradley Whitford
Brandon Matthews
Brendan Hines
Bretman Rock
Brian Smith
Brigette Lundy-Paine
Brittany Tomlinson
Busy Philipps
Caesar Samoya
Camila Cabello
Camille A Brown
Cara Delevingne
Chani Nicholas
Chella Man
Chelsea Handler
Cheyenne Jackson
Chris Perfetti
Christa Miller
Cleo Wade
Colton Haynes
Corey Jantzen
Cynthia Erivo
Cynthia McWilliams
Cynthia Nixon
Cyrus Veyssi
D’Arcy Carden
Dakota Fanning
Dan Levy
Darren Criss
David Shatraw
David Oulton
Debra Messing
Deepica Mutyala
Demi Lovato
Des McAnuff
Devery Jacobs
Diana Maria Riva
Diane Guerrero
Dylan Mulvaney
Ed Droste
Eddie Ndopu
EJ Marcus
Elegance Bratton
Eliot Rahal
Elle Fanning
Elliot Page
Emily Hampshire
Emily V. Gordon
Emma Hunton
Erin Reed
Estefania Pessoa
FLETCHER
Freddy Thomas
Gabrielle Union-Wade
Gigi Gorgeous
Glennon Doyle
Gottmik
Grace Kuhlenschmidt
Griffin Dunne
Haley Baldwin Bieber
Hannah Gadsby
Harry Lambert
Hayley Kiyoko
Hilary Montez
Ilana Glazer
Indya Moore
Isaac Mizrahi
Jackie Bazan
Jacob Tierney
Jai Rodriguez
Jameela Jamil
James Blake
James Scully
James Vaughan
Jamie Lee Curtis
Janaya Khan
Janelle Monáe
Janet Hubert
Jazz Jennings
Jenna Lyons
Jennifer Kerr
Jeremy Fall
Jessica Betts
Jillian Mercado
Jinkx Monsoon
Joe DiPietro
Jonathan Van Ness
Jonathan Bennett
Jonny Pierce
Jordan Stenmark
Jordan Firstman
Jordan Roth
JP Saxe
Judd Apatow
Justin Baldoni
Justin Tranter
Kal Penn
Kamar de los Reyes
Karamo Brown
Kate Reinders
Katherine LaNasa
Kathryn Grody
Kellie Overbey
Kelly Devine
Kendrick Sampson
Kevin Harrington
Kevin Cahoon
Ki Griffin
Kimber Elayne Sprawl
Kimberly Drew
Kristin Chenoweth
Lachlan Watson
Laith De La Cruz
Laura Terruso
Lauren Jauregui
Laverne Cox
Lena Dunham
Lena Waithe
Lena Hall
Lilly Singh
Lily Rabe
Liv Hewson
Liza Koshy
Lola Tung
Lorin Latarro
Lovell Adams-Gray
Lucky Bromhead
Mae Martin
Mae Whitman
Maggie Boccella
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan
Mandy Patinkin
Marc Jacobs
Marc Kudisch
Marieme Diop
Martha Plimpton
Matt Bernstein
Matt McGorry
Matt Walton
Medalion Rahimi
Meena Harris
Megan Crabbe
Michael D. Cohen
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez
Michelle Buteau
Midori Francis
Miriam Silverman
Moj Mahdara
Mona Chalabi
Montego Glover
Munroe Bergdorf
Nate Wonder
Nats Getty
Neila Karassik
Nicholas Ferroni
Nico Carney
Nico Santos
Nico Tortorella
Nicole Maines
Niecy Nash-Betts
Nik Dodani
Ocean Vuong
Olly Alexander
Our Lady J
Padma Lakshmi
Patrick Stewart
Patti LuPone
Peppermint
Phillip Picardi
Phoebe Robinson
Poorna Jagannathan
Rachel Cargle
Rafael Silva
Ramy Youssef
Randy Shulman
Raquel Willis
Richa Moorjani
Rob Holysz
Robert Horn
Rory Dahl
Rosario Dawson
Rupi Kaur
Sam Smith
Sander Jennings
Sandy Rustin
Sara Bareilles
Sara Ramirez
Sarah Ramos
Sasha Velour
Scott Turner Schofield
Shawn Mendes
Shea Couleé
Shea Diamond
Sherri Saum
Sinead Burke
Solomon Hughes
Stephen Kunken
Susie Park
T. Oliver Reid
Taika Waititi
Tan France
Tatiana Maslany
Tess Holliday
Tiffany Namtu
Tommy Dorfman
Tracee Ellis Ross
Travis Alabanza
Tunde Adebimpe
Vivek Shraya
Wanda Sykes
Warren Carlyle
Wayne Cilento
Wilson Cruz
Yves Mathieu East
Zoë Chao
Zooey Deschanel

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.