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29 Jun, 2023 16:54

Celebrities demand Big Tech censor trans criticism

The advocacy group behind the campaign recently rated the top platforms poorly on its “Social Media Safety Index”
Celebrities demand Big Tech censor trans criticism

Some 250 US celebrities have signed an open letter demanding Big Tech platforms crack down on “hate speech and harassment” against LGBTQ people, including criticism of trans surgeries for children, the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD announced on Tuesday.

The letter called for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter to adopt “specific plans” to suppress “content that spreads malicious lies and disinformation about medically necessary healthcare for transgender youth,” emphasizing that “specific mitigations” similar to platforms’ “election and Covid-19 mitigations and rules” must be developed and enforced.

Accounts that “perpetuate anti-LGBT extremist hate and disinformation” – the letter specifically cites “the anti-LGBTQ ‘groomer’ conspiracy theory” – must be “more effectively moderated and mitigated,” wrote the signers, who included transgender actor Elliot Page and controversial trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney. 

They also insisted that platforms put an end to “dehumanizing, hateful attacks on prominent transgender public figures and influencers,” citing a report claiming 60% of LGBTQ people “feel harmed” by witnessing harassment against other LGBTQ people.

Attacks online inspired attacks in real life, they claimed, arguing “trans youth and their families and care providers are being endangered by your negligence, causing many families to flee their homes.”

Nearly two dozen states have passed laws restricting gender-affirming care for children, as concerns mount about the long-term physical and psychological effects of puberty-blocking hormones, which have not previously been subjected to safety studies regarding their use in children. 

One study published last year found that making it easier for minors to receive cross-sex hormones without parental consent could actually increase suicide rates. Trans surgeries for children are highly controversial, with even the World Professional Association for Transgender Health stating that the “age of majority” is a prerequisite for surgical transition – though a handful of US clinics do perform them.

Several countries – including the UK, Sweden, Finland, and France – have put limits on the use of puberty blockers or even banned them altogether. The US, however, has been more embracing of “early gender-affirming care,” specifically the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, as “crucial” to the health of children with gender dysphoria.

GLAAD – formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation – issued failing scores to every major tech platform this year in its Social Media Safety Index, complaining they were not enforcing their own rules protecting LGBT users from hate speech.