PARIS, July 20 — Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, or even Twitter and TikTok, are not doing enough to protect users who belong to the LGBTQ+ community, according to a new report from GLAAD, a US nongovernmental organisation fighting discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender communities.

So which social network has the most work to do? The GLAAD advocacy group has shared the findings of its Social Media Safety Index 2022.

The report’s analysis of social networks focused on community rules and practices regarding safety for users from the LGBTQ+ community, based on 12 criteria.

These include being able to add pronouns, having rules in place to prevent misgendering, and transparency about the collection of data about sexual orientation and gender identity. And the results proved disappointing.

Between Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, none of the social networks analysed managed to achieve a score of 50 out of 100.

Despite their many announced measures for ensuring the wellbeing of their users, these platforms are still visibly far from guaranteeing the safety of LGBTQ+ users, according to the GLAAD report.

TikTok appears to be the least compliant platform in terms of safety for the LGBTQ+ community, with a score of 42.51 out of 100.

While the Chinese social network garnered a score of 100 for its commitment to the protection of LGBTQ+ users, like all other platforms, TikTok also scored points for its fight against “deadnaming” — the intentional use of a transgender person’s former name — and against the misgendering of users.

However, the platform faltered on the diversity of its teams, its relationship with advertisers regarding targeted ads, and the possibility for its users to precisely control the data collected by the platform about their sexual orientation and gender.

“While there may be legitimate information security concerns related to TikTok being a Chinese-owned company, I think it is extremely important to keep in mind two things: One is that with all of these companies we have really very little visibility or reason to trust any of them when it comes to data security — recall Cambridge Analytica,” Jenni Olson, Senior Director of Social Media Safety at GLAAD, told Forbes.

“And secondly there are many examples of media and pundits offering takes about TikTok being a Chinese company, where they are clearly tapping into a xenophobic, anti-Asian sentiment that is just really irresponsible and not thoughtful.” TikTok has often been denounced for deleting content published by users from the LGBTQ+ community, as well as posts talking about related topics and even hashtags.

As the report recalls, some keywords like “gay,” “transgender” or “I am a gay/lesbian” are blocked on the app in some languages, like Russian, Arabic and Bosnian.

In November 2021, TikTok even came under fire for censoring Disney’s text-to-speech voices saying words like “gay” and “lesbian.” As for the rest of the scores, Twitter comes in fourth place among the networks that do most to ensure the safety and wellbeing of users in the LGBTQ+ community, with a score of 44.7 out of 100.

It is preceded by YouTube (45.11) in third place. The Meta group comes out on top, with Facebook (46.3) and Instagram (48.38).

“These companies have an inherent financial conflict of interest, which provides at least a partial explanation for their refusal to categorize certain content as harmful or to remove it from their platforms once it has been identified,” GLAAD’s report explains. — ETX Studio