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TikTok’s algorithm promoted anti-LGBTQ content during Pride Month

This has created a situation in which TikTok can quickly generate an overtly hateful feed of anti-LGBTQ content

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Graphic by Molly Butler for Media Matters

By Olivia Little | WASHINGTON – TikTok’s “For You” page recommendation algorithm circulated videos promoting hate and violence targeting the LGBTQ community during Pride Month, while the company celebrated the month with its #ForYourPride campaign. 

Media Matters reviewed videos that TikTok recommended to our “For You” page after we showed interest in anti-LGBTQ content. After we clicked “like” on one anti-LGBTQ video, TikTok almost instantly began recommending more. As similar videos were liked, our “For You” page quickly became dominated by almost exclusively anti-LGBTQ content. Some of these videos even went viral, with one showing a celebration of LGBTQ people being arrested racking up roughly 9.4 million views. This video was from an explicitly anti-LGBTQ account with fewer than 55,000 followers — meaning TikTok’s algorithm had picked up and widely circulated the video. In each case, this content was placed on our “For You” page and required no additional searching.

It is difficult to explain in words just how many videos targeting the LGBTQ community were — and continue to be — promoted by TikTok’s recommendation algorithm. However, seeing the content as a user scrolls the “For You” page provides a stark visual.

The active spread of explicitly anti-LGBTQ videos isn’t a new problem for TikTok, but it appears that the platform has yet to stop it — even though the company claims to prohibit discriminatory and hateful content targeting sexual orientation and gender identity. TikTok also posted an update in early June celebrating Pride Month and promising to “foster a welcoming environment” and “remove hateful, anti-LGBTQ+ content or accounts that attempt to bully or harass people on our platform.” Given the content being circulated by the algorithm once a user begins interacting with anti-LGBTQ videos, it is clear that TikTok has yet to fulfill these promises. 

Instead, TikTok is curating far-right echo chambers for its users. The platform’s popularity arose from its ability to hyper-personalize recommendations to the interests of individual users, but this has created a situation in which TikTok can quickly generate an overtly hateful feed of anti-LGBTQ content. It’s long past time for TikTok to enforce its own policies against the bigotry and discrimination being promoted on its platform

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Olivia Little is a researcher at Media Matters. She holds a bachelor’s degree in law and public policy from Indiana University. Olivia previously worked as a research associate for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign.

The preceding article was originally published by Media Matters for America and is republished by permission.

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Vlogger StanChris; My religious mom reacts to Norway’s “gay Santa” ad

My religious mom reacts to Norway’s gay Santa advertisement! Let’s see what she has to say about it.

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Screenshot via YouTube

LOS ANGELES – The twenty-something StanChris, the Out YouTuber who has been building his audience on his YouTube channel by vlogging about the ordinary everyday experiences of his life as a young gay guy is back- this time interviewing his mother.

My religious mom reacts to Norway’s gay Santa advertisement! Let’s see what she has to say about it.

My religious mom reacts to Norway’s “gay Santa” ad

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S O C I A L – L I N K S

→Instagram : stanchris https://instagram.com/stanchris

→ Twitter : stanchrisss https://twitter.com/stanchrisss

Subscribe here!!: https://youtube.com/c/stanchris

Watch more: https://youtu.be/rjI4c7nSXkw

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Critics call gay Santa ad ‘creepy’ accusing it of ‘sexualizing’ Christmas

The ad was posted to Youtube on November 22 to pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of Norway’s decision to decriminalize homosexuality 

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Courtesy of Norway’s postal service, Posten Norge

OSLO – A Norwegian Christmas ad for Norway’s postal service, Posten Norge, that depicts a gay Santa struggling to balance his Christmas day duties and a male love interest has sparked an online debate with critics saying it “sexualizes” the holiday figure. 

The ad, titled “When Harry met Santa,” shows a burgeoning romance between Santa and Harry that starts when the two meet one Christmas Eve. As leaves the house through the chimney that night, fireworks fill the night sky. 

Over the years, the two continue to see each other on Christmas Eve and fall in love. Frustrated with only getting to see his lover once a year, Harry pens a letter to Santa that says, “Dear Santa: All I want for Christmas is you.”

At the end of the nearly 4-minute ad, Santa and his lover engage in a seconds-long kiss. During their embrace, the camera pans out and a message that reads, “In 2022, Norway marks 50 years of being able to love who we want,” appears. 

The ad, posted to Youtube on November 22 to pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of Norway’s decision to decriminalize homosexuality, has garnered over 1 million views. 

“In addition to showing the flexibility of our services, we want to put it in a socially relevant setting,” Posten Norge said in a statement, according to Reuters

“Everyone should feel welcome, seen, heard, and included. This year’s Christmas ad embraces this,” it said.

Many have responded positively to the ad. 

Canadian Member of Parliament Randall Garrison called it “strong and moving,” saying the ad caused him to break his “no Xmas before December rule.”

Former U.S. ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford tweeted: “Oh man I love Scandinavia. Imagine if the US Post Office put out an ad like this.”

Others have voiced issues with the ad, calling it “creepy” and arguing that it “sexualizes” Santa.

English journalist Dawn Neesom, a columnist for the Daily Star, said as much on TalkRadio with James Max. 

“This is an advert for the Norwegian postal service celebrating 50 years of being able to love who you want. However, they have sexualized Santa,” Neesom said.

Max interrupted her, saying, “No they haven’t sexualized Santa, this is a nonsense and you are jumping on a tabloid bandwagon. If Santa came in and kissed Mrs. Claus, you wouldn’t say a word.”

Neesom pushed back and maintained her point, adding that it was different because Santa married Mrs. Claus. She also argued that Harry was cheating on his spouse, but there is no indication in the ad that he has one. 

Commentator Melanie Blake made a similar argument, tweeting: “If #Santa is gay these days then good for him but should we be seeing him getting off with anyone in Christmas adverts?! Seems a bit of an odd concept to me – if he was snogging a woman, it’s still sexualising a figure that’s mainly around for children which looks creepy to me.”

In response to such comments, the Independent published an article that said, “Really? I mean … really?! Now, I know that woke-bashing has become de rigueur, and that, after the backlashes against the #MeToo and BLM campaigns, we’re supposed to protect our precious and delicate cultural icons from the clutches of the baying woke mob – but are we really saying that the heartwarming romance between Harry and Santa is a woke step too far? Has Posten sexualised Santa? Oh, go and stuff your face with a selection box and give it a rest!”

It continued: “The truth is that Christmas and Santa have been sexualised for years already, and few people have batted an eye.”

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Vlogger StanChris asks “what it was like growing up with a gay brother?”

My straight little brother answers everyones questions about what it was like growing up and living with me before & after I came out

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Screenshot via YouTube

LOS ANGELES – The twenty-something StanChris, the Out YouTuber who has been building his audience on his YouTube channel by vlogging about the ordinary everyday experiences of his life as a young gay guy, is back with his straight brother and his brother’s friend.

My straight little brother answers everyones questions about what it was like growing up and living with me before & after I came out along with some other fun misc. things…”

My straight little brother answers your questions about me

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S O C I A L – L I N K S

→Instagram : stanchris https://instagram.com/stanchris

→ Twitter : stanchrisss https://twitter.com/stanchrisss

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