The Trevor Project, a program that prevents suicide among LGBTQ+ adolescents, announced on Thursday that it was leaving the social networking platform X because it was worried about the “increasing hate & vitriol on the platform targeting the LGBTQ community — the group we exist to serve.”
The organization said in a statement announcing the shutting of its account on the website that was once known as Twitter that if you’d want to stay up to date with our work supporting LGBTQ youth, we invite you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and TrevorSpace.org. While there is never a flawless online environment, having adequate moderation tools at our disposal is crucial to keeping our community secure.
Elon Musk, the network’s owner, has expressed his support for what he refers to safeguard “free speech” and has taken action to leave X following months of worries over hate speech on the platform. In addition, Musk has threatened legal action against the Anti-Defamation League and sued the Centre for Countering Digital Hate in response to watchdog groups’ criticism of the company’s handling of hate speech and other disturbing content (the lawsuit against the ADL never materialised, and the group later resumed advertising on X).
In April, X also removed a section of their policy on hostile conduct that provided particular safeguards for transgender individuals. This included the ban on “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
Musk has come under fire for some of his remarks on X addressing gender identity issues. Musk’s daughter identifies as transgender and stated earlier this year that she wanted to break off contact with her father.
For instance, he posted something in December 2020 that has since been removed, saying, “when you put he/him in your bio,” next to a drawing of a soldier from the 18th century who is spreading blood on his face in front of a body pile while sporting a cap that says, “I love to oppress.” (Musk posted on the platform, “I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an aesthetic nightmare,” in response to criticism of that post.)
The Trevor Project added that a record amount of anti-LGBTQ+ measures were introduced into state legislatures across the country in 2023, coinciding with its departure from X. In June, the Human Rights Campaign, a fellow civil rights organisation, proclaimed a “state of emergency” for individuals who identify as LGBTQ+.
According to a representative of the Trevor Project, “We have seen this rhetoric transcend politics and appear on social media platforms.” This was stated by media agency. Our goal when posting information on social media is to inspire and validate young LGBTQ individuals while illuminating their experiences and expanding the public’s comprehension of them. We’ve seen anti-LGBTQ speeches and discussions on our postings in reaction to mental health resources and messages of hope and support, which can have a detrimental impact
In addition, the business has been making an effort to persuade numerous advertisers to continue or expand their spending on the platform in spite of worries that their advertisements would appear next to offensive or false content. The CEO of X, Linda Yaccarino, has praised the platform’s brand safety features, which let advertisers select the kind of content that their advertising can be displayed with.