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Social media is often a dumpster fire. And while many of us can say that anecdotally, just reading the comment sections of posts, or scrolling through viral content, a new report from GLAAD has made the assertion more definitive.

In its fourth annual Social Media Safety Index, GLAAD gave the lowest score to X (formerly known as Twitter). But not by much: the report gave a failing grade to Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and YouTube as well based on the platforms’ policies and implementation of those policies around LGBTQ+ safety, privacy, and expression. TikTok passed — barely — with a D+.

“Leaders of social media companies are failing at their responsibility to make safe products,” Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD president and CEO, said in a statement about the report.

“When it comes to anti-LGBTQ+ hate and disinformation, the industry is dangerously lacking on enforcement of current policies. There is a direct relationship between online harms and the hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ legislative attacks, rising rates of real-world anti-LGBTQ+ violence and threads of violence, that social media platforms are responsible for and should act with urgency to address.”

To that point, the report points out that 10% of all anti-LBGTQ+ incidents nationwide targeted schools and universities. That follows a concerted effort, bolstered largely online, and fronted by accounts like Chaya Raichik’s Libs of Tiktok, linking queerness and gender identity with false tropes of indoctrination, grooming, and pedophilia. Raichik’s posts on social media have specifically been linked to instances of real-world violence including bomb threats

Compiled in collaboration with an advisory committee that includes writer and media personality Alok, Media Matters for America Deputy director of External Affairs Brennan Suen, journalist Kara Swisher, and more, the report offers key recommendations for each platform.

For X, the report encourages training for content moderation on the needs of LGBTQ+ users. For Instagram, the report encourages the platform to develop a policy that prohibits targeted deadnaming. YouTube should “show greater commitment to addressing wrongful demonetization and removal of LGBTQ+ creators and their content.” 

In 2021, YouTube and Google were sued by a group of LGBTQ+ creators for discrimination, alleging that the creators were demonetized and deplatformed more often than their peers. In 2023, that suit was dismissed though many creators still complain of being over-policed. 

“In addition to these egregious levels of inadequately moderated anti-LGBTQ hate and disinformation, we also see a corollary problem of over-moderation of legitimate LGBTQ expression — including wrongful takedowns of LGBTQ accounts and creators, shadowbanning, and similar suppression of LGBTQ content,” Jenni Olson, GLAAD’s senior director of social media safety, said. “Meta’s recent policy change limiting algorithmic eligibility of so-called ‘political content,’ which the company partly defines as: ‘social topics that affect a group of people and/or society large’ is especially concerning.”