Media Matters submitted a public comment to help inform Meta’s Oversight Board as it considers a case related to anti-LGBTQ hate and assesses “the accuracy of Meta’s enforcement of its Hate Speech policy.”
In response to the board’s request for comments, Media Matters provided new data that reveals the extent to which anti-LGBTQ hate proliferates on Facebook and called on Meta to better enforce its current policies by closing loopholes, removing exemptions, and taking action against accounts that repeatedly push anti-LGBTQ hate, as failures to do so thus far have contributed to real-world harm of LGBTQ people.
To assess the prevalence of anti-LGBTQ content on Facebook, Media Matters compiled and analyzed over 112,500 trans-related posts from U.S. news and politics pages since January 1, 2023, and found that right-leaning pages have dominated the conversation, accounting for nearly half (49%) of trans-related posts and earning 66% of total interactions on related posts. By comparison, left-leaning pages accounted for 13% of related posts and earned 20% of interactions, while ideologically nonaligned pages accounted for 38% of related posts and earned only 14% of interactions.
Meta’s history of repeatedly bending its rules and giving preferential treatment to right-wing media and politicians has contributed to the prevalence of this hate on Meta’s platforms. Right-wing accounts on Meta’s platforms have been able to exploit the company’s policy loopholes, exemptions, and enforcement failures in the following ways to push anti-LGBTQ hate: (1) There are loopholes, including politician exemptions and Facebook’s “cross check” or “XCheck” program, which exempts high-profile accounts from content moderation, that have allowed key purveyors of anti-LGBTQ hate to escape moderation; (2) the company allows networks of pages, such as those affiliated with right-wing outlets The Daily Wire, TheBlaze, and The Western Journal, to amplify anti-LGBTQ hate with impunity; and (3) Meta fails to moderate accounts that repeatedly engage in anti-LGBTQ hate speech and harassment, including the anti-LGBTQ accounts “Gays Against Groomers” and “Libs of TikTok.”
Read Media Matters' public comment here: