Elon Musk’s Twitter has failed to shield LGBTQ+ organizations and individuals from online harassment and abuse, per a new survey.
According to a study conducted by Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), harassment of LGBTQ+ activists has risen since Musk acquired Twitter in October 2022.
Approximately 60% of respondents observed an increase in abusive and hateful speech on Twitter after Musk took over as CEO.
The remaining 40% reported experiencing the same degree of abusive and hateful speech as before. None of the survey respondents noticed a decrease in abusive and hateful speech.
“Twitter considers itself a ‘common digital town square’, yet it’s a town square where LGBTQ+ voices are all too often shouted down and silenced by constant hateful speech and harassment,” said Michael Kleinman, senior director of technology and human rights at Amnesty International USA.
“It’s disappointing, to say the least, to hear that the problem of hateful and abusive speech on Twitter is only getting worse,” Kleinman added.
Eight out of nine respondents, or 88% of those who attempted to report the abuse to Twitter, claimed that Twitter did nothing to reduce or remove the reported content.
“GLAAD’s Social Media Safety Index, released in July, gave Twitter a 48 out of a possible 100 score, and Twitter remains an unsafe place for LGBTQ+ people,” said a GLAAD spokesperson.
About 60% of all respondents stated that hostile and abusive behavior has affected how they use the site, including how frequently they post on Twitter, how often they share information about their work, and who they engage with there.
His problem was especially acute among activists, with eight of nine activists surveyed stating that harassment affects how they use the site.
About 65% of all respondents indicated Twitter has more hostile and abusive communication than other platforms they frequent.
“We urge Twitter to do the right thing and provide a hate-free platform,” said Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign.