Elon Musk’s Twitter has been accused of allowing anti-LGBTQ+ “groomer” tweets to flourish on the platform since he took over in October 2022.
A new report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) found that tweets with anti-LGBTQ+ “grooming” narratives have jumped 119% since Musk took over, making Twitter millions of dollars in advertising revenue.
🚨NEW: Shocking new analysis by @CCDHate found that tweets with anti-LGBTQ+ ‘grooming’ narrative have jumped 119% since Elon Musk took over Twitter.
A thread 🧵https://t.co/437zJ3JdZn
— Center for Countering Digital Hate (@CCDHate) March 28, 2023
The CCDH report found that the anti-LGBTQ+ “groomer” narrative is being used to target LGBTQ+ people, especially teachers, Pride events, and drag story hour events. The report also found that Twitter is making millions of dollars from big-name advertisers, whose brands are appearing alongside hateful anti-LGBT rhetoric.
Musk has previously said that he would allow free speech on Twitter, but the CCDH report suggests that this is not the case for LGBTQ+ people. The CCDH report calls on Musk to take action to remove anti-LGBTQ+ “groomer” tweets from Twitter and to stop making money from hateful anti-LGBT rhetoric.
Musk has not yet responded to the CCDH report.
Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, described how the “hate-filled lies” about the LGBTQ+ community are actually turning a profit for Musk.
“This isn’t an accident,” Ahmed said, “Elon Musk put up the ‘bat signal’ to homophobes, transphobes, racists and all manner of disinformation actors, encouraging them to flood onto Twitter….Not only has Musk’s ownership of the platform coincided with an explosion of the hateful ‘grooming’ narrative, but Twitter is monetizing hate at an unprecedented rate.”
The CCDH report is the latest in a series of criticisms of Musk’s handling of Twitter. In recent months, Musk has been accused of allowing hate speech, misinformation, and harassment to flourish on the platform. Musk has also been accused of targeting critics of his business practices, such as short-sellers and journalists.
The CCDH report is a reminder that Musk’s free speech promises may not be good news for everyone.
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