Connect with us

Online Culture

Hate purveyor Libs of TikTok not suspended: GLAAD responds

GLAAD’s annual Social Media Safety Index gave Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube failing scores on LGBTQ safety

Published

on

Former New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz has reported extensively on Brooklyn real estate agent and fanatical adherent of far-right extremist ideology, Chaya Raichik, has wreaked havoc via her social media accounts ‘Libs of Tik Tok’ (Screenshot/YouTube)

LOS ANGELES – For over two years, a Brooklyn real estate agent and fanatical adherent of far-right extremist ideology, Chaya Raichik, has wreaked havoc via her social media accounts ‘Libs of Tik Tok’, attacking LGBTQ+ people with special emphasis on spreading lies and propaganda about transgender people.

Earlier this week she was notified that Meta’s social media giant platform Facebook had suspended her this past week, in part due to her relentless lies and falsehoods attacking Boston Children’s Hospital last week ago. Staff of that facility began to receive death threats and other threats of violence.

As a result of Raichik’s hate campaign and extremism, California-based Meta’s Facebook platform suspended her late Wednesday night which she acknowledged in a tweet:

The resulting chaos including death threats against Children’s clinicians and staff was acknowledged by a spokesperson for the Boston Police who told the Blade that officials had stepped up security to augment the efforts by the hospital to protect its staff and that an investigation had been launched.

The United States Department of Justice has also launched an investigation into the threats according to an announcement by the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Rachael Rollins:

“Today’s news about the alleged threats directed at Boston Children’s Hospital transgender health program is disturbing to say the least.  Children deserve an opportunity to thrive and grow as their own authentic selves. Parents/guardians and health care providers who support them in that journey should be allowed to do so free of threats and harassment.  I want to make it clear that the Department of Justice will ensure equal protection of transgender people under the law.

[…] Our newly established hotline, 1-83-END-H8-NOW has resulted in dozens of calls and we will continue to pursue all leads. While free speech is indeed the cornerstone of our great nation, fear, intimidation and threats are not. I will not sit idly by and allow hate-based criminal activity to continue in our District.”

In a phone call Friday, a spokesperson for Meta confirmed that Raichik’s Facebook account was still active but refused further comment.

GLAAD responded responded to Meta’s confirmation that the Libs of TikTok account was not suspended from Facebook, and also that Twitter also has not taken action on Raichik’s recent posts or her account.

In a lengthy statement issued by Rich Ferraro, GLAAD’s Chief Communications Officer, the organization wrote:

“Libs of TikTok is synonymous with maliciously targeting LGBTQ organizations, people, and allies by posting lies, misinformation, and blatant hate,” said a GLAAD spokesperson. “Meta and Twitter continue to profit from accounts like Libs of TikTok as doctors and staff members of Boston Children’s Hospital, and other providers of healthcare to transgender people, receive death threats and hate. These companies are complicit in hosting content which expresses malicious falsehoods and which incite anti-LGBTQ hate. This is the latest in a long pattern of blatant inaction from the platforms to content that directly leads to the recent rise in real world violence and harassment facing LGBTQ people.” 

GLAAD contacted Meta and Twitter following the original posts. Libs of TikTok first tweeted a lie on August 11 that “Boston Children’s Hospital is now offering ‘gender-affirming hysterectomies’ for young girls.” The falsehood has been widely debunked by fact-checking groups including Politifact. The Hospital also affirmed that they do not perform certain surgeries on young people who receive gender-affirming care.

The Libs of TikTok account’s posts, which consistently feature intentional disinformation and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric will remain on Facebook despite their seeming conflict with Facebook’s Hate Speech policies, which state in part: “We define attacks as violent or dehumanizing speech, harmful stereotypes, statements of inferiority, expressions of contempt, disgust or dismissal, cursing and calls for exclusion or segregation. We also prohibit the use of harmful stereotypes, which we define as dehumanizing comparisons that have historically been used to attack, intimidate, or exclude specific groups, and that are often linked with offline violence.”

Twitter has not taken action on individual posts related to Boston Children’s Hospital or the Libs of TikTok account, despite its Hateful conduct policy which states: “You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.” 

Libs of TikTok was twice suspended from Twitter temporarily, and was also temporarily suspended from Instagram earlier this year. 

The account was removed from TikTok for violating community guidelines. 

In April 2022 the account reported that Linktree removed Libs of TikTok from its product for “inappropriate use.”

This current situation is only the latest in the systemic pattern of anti-LGBTQ targeted hate and harassment that Libs of TikTok has engaged in — including targeting other hospitals and health care professionals providing gender-affirming care. Prior to last month’s new policy update from Meta and Twitter, it has also consistently promoted hate-driven, patently false assertions baselessly characterizing LGBTQ people as pedophiles and specifically utilizing the term “Groomer” as a vicious anti-LGBTQ slur. Both Twitter and Meta now prohibit such slurs.

In deleted tweets, Libs of TikTok baselessly and maliciously accused Chasten Buttigieg (husband of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg) of “grooming kids,” and slandered LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization The Trevor Project as a “grooming organization.”

Last month, GLAAD’s annual Social Media Safety Index gave Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube failing scores on LGBTQ safety, privacy, and expression on the platforms. No platform earned a score of 50 or above out of a possible score of 100.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Online Culture

LGBTQ+ friendly Netflix could lose a quarter of its subscribers

70% of survey respondents use Netflix the most, meaning it has higher usage than any other streaming service—by a 60% margin

Published

on

Los Angeles Blade graphic

LOS ANGELES – Streaming service Netflix which is home to LGBTQ+ friendly fare including the smash hit series Heartstopper, Queer Eye, Uncoupled, and Grace and Frankie along with a robust portfolio of other queer friendly content is poised to lose a staggering quarter of its subscribers.

In a recent survey conducted by REVIEWS.org, a organization staffed by teams of experts who rate and review connected home services and products including Mobile & Wireless; TV & Streaming; Home Security & Smart Home along with other web based offerings surveyed 1,000 Americans to gauge their streaming habits in 2022 and found that 1 in 4 are planning to leave Netflix this year. 

Based on the report’s findings,  that could be over 18 million US subscribers—and an estimated $272 million in lost subscriber revenue for the streaming company. The experts noted that Netflix has had a difficult 2022, losing nearly 1.2 million subscribers in the first two quarters of 2022 and recording subscriber loss for the first time in a decade. 

The company hopes to add one million new subscribers in the third quarter, but the report questions if the streaming company face another loss of that magnitude.

The survey noted that nearly two-thirds of respondents cited Netflix’s increasing cost as a reason for leaving.

  • Netflix’s Basic one-screen plan went up by 11% in January 2022 for the first time in three years.
  • Meanwhile, Standard and Premium plans increased 20% and 25%, respectively, in the same time period.

The REVIEWS report also pointed out that Netflix currently has the highest average plan cost among the eight most popular streaming services in the United States. And that is leading 30% of surveyed subscribers to share their password with people outside their household.

Graphic via REVIEWS.org

Netflix cost vs. competitors

Streaming serviceAverage monthly costNumber of plans
Netflix$15.15Three plans, no ads
HBO Max$12.49Two plans: With and without ads
Hulu$9.99Two plans: With and without ads (does not include Hulu Live+)
Amazon Prime$14.99One plan, no ads
Disney Plus$7.99One plan*
Paramount+$7.49Two plans: With and without ads
Apple TV+$4.99One plan, no ads
PeacockTV$7.49Two plans: With and without ads
Graphic via REVIEWS.org

Data as of 09/05/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
* Does not include Disney bundle

Another issue with those surveyed was lack of content. 1 in 3 respondents said Netflix no longer has the shows they want to watch and then 30% said that they use other streaming services more.

The report notes that Netflix became popular for licensing many TV shows and movies for streaming before the company developed its own original programming. In recent years, those shows and movies have left Netflix for other streaming services—mainly to build the libraries of WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, Walt Disney Company’s Disney+, and NBCUniversal’s Peacock—leading to ‘the streaming wars.’

Graphic via REVIEWS.org

The report’s findings state that the average American is subscribed to 4 streaming platforms:

  • 78% subscribe to Netflix
  • 46% are Disney+ subscribers
  • 42% subscribe to HBO Max
  • 33% are Peacock subscribers
  • 26% subscribe to Hulu
  • 22% are Apple TV+ subscribers
  • 5% subscribe to Hulu
  • 5% are Amazon Prime subscribers

The survey also found that 70% of respondents use Netflix the most, meaning it has higher usage than any other streaming service—by a 60% margin!

In a distant second place is HBO Max with a 10% share of respondents and Disney+ takes third place with 6%. Every other streaming service is under 5%.

So can anything beat Netflix the REVIEWERS.org asked? Their answer was “Right now, no. But rising prices, a lack of content, and increased competition could lead 1-in-4 subscribers to cancel their Netflix subscription within the year.”

Continue Reading

Online Culture

Twitter shareholders ok Elon Musk deal, GLAAD expresses alarm

“Our community is at disproportionate risk for harassment online, which itself has damaging impacts and can also lead to offline harms”

Published

on

Screenshot/YouTube SKY News AU

SAN FRANCISCO – Twitter shareholders voted Tuesday to approve Elon Musk’s $44 billion bid to buy the company and take it private, CNBC reported. The vote comes as the billionaire entrepreneur seeks to scrap the deal, casting doubt on Twitter’s self-reported percentage of fake accounts and alleging the company was not as forthcoming as it should have been with its explanation of the calculation.

The vote comes as Musk seeks to scrap the deal, casting doubt on Twitter’s self-reported percentage of fake accounts and alleging the company was not as forthcoming as it should have been with its explanation of the calculation. Twitter has stood by its figure of less than 5% of monetizable daily active users being spam or fake and has said it’s provided Musk plenty of information meeting the requirements of the deal.

In New York, GLAAD released a statement reacting to the shareholder’s vote expressing alarm in part due to Musk has a record of posting anti-LGBTQ content as well as content targeting other marginalized communities.

In a statement the LGBTQ+ advocacy group noted: “While the outcome of the deal remains uncertain amidst ongoing litigation, GLAAD reiterates that Elon Musk’s previously stated plans for Twitter threaten the safety and best interests of users, society, and democracies around the world.”

“Today, Twitter shareholders voted for profits over people. We are deeply concerned with the safety of LGBTQ people on Twitter and join the voices of other organizations representing marginalized communities to express opposition to Elon Musk’s potential acquisition of the platform,” said GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis.

“Our community is at disproportionate risk for harassment online, which itself has damaging impacts and can also lead to offline harms. It is critical that Twitter as a company, regardless of ownership, prioritizes policies and content moderation that creates spaces where truth is elevated over dangerous mis- and disinformation and hate,” Ellis added.

GLAAD is one of the founding members of the “Stop the Deal” coalition, a campaign launched in June 2022 by Accountable Tech, Media Matters, UltraViolet and others to warn of the potential dangers of the possible acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk.

More information is available at StopTheDeal.com.

GLAAD released its inaugural Social Media Safety Index in July, evaluating LGBTQ user safety experience across the social media landscape, showing the entire sector is effectively unsafe for LGBTQ users, with high prevalence and intensity of hate speech and harassment.

The Index provided recommendations for the industry at large and reports on LGBTQ user safety across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok.

Read the full report here. 

Continue Reading

Online Culture

‘Ring the Alarm’ podcast on murders of LGBTQ people in Jamaica

Insightful and engaging conversations with LGBTQ men and women, including exclusive interviews from inside a network of secret safe houses

Published

on

LOS ANGELES – The fifth episode, in award-winning journalist Jasmyne Cannick’s podcast series ‘Ring the Alarm’ about the murders of LGBTQ people in Jamaica, was released this past week.

18-year-old Keneil grew up in Jamaica, where he was sexually abused at home starting at the age of 8 years old.  Because of the isolation and denial he faced from his mother, and narrowly escaping a murder attempt, Keneil tried to commit suicide several times. After being disowned by his mother, Keneil lived in abandoned buildings with no food.  He recently found housing at the Unity Fellowship Church Jamaica safe house, where he is receiving support and is now awaiting relocation assistance to another country that is more accepting of LGBTQ people.  Through it all, the teenager has managed to smile, remain hopeful, and look forward to living a life where he can be free, even if it means being away from his family and the country he is from.

‘Ring the Alarm’ is a special podcast series of frank conversations with lesbian, gay, and trans men and women in Jamaica about living in one of the most homophobic countries in the world.  Award-winning journalist Jasmyne Cannick shares their challenges, dreams, and aspirations to live a life where they don’t have to fear being murdered for being queer.

Produced in Jamaica, through insightful and engaging conversations with LGBTQ men and women, including exclusive interviews from inside a network of secret safe houses that helps to hide queer Jamaicans until they can be relocated to another country, Jasmyne continues to provide much-needed context while calling attention to the plight of Black queer people in American’s top Caribbean vacation destination.

You can listen to ‘Ring the Alarm’ wherever you get your podcasts. 

To support Unity Fellowship Church Jamaica safe house, donate through Cash App to $UFJamaica or UFJamaica.com.

Listen on:

About Jasmyne Cannick

Jasmyne Cannick is an award-winning nationally known journalist and on-air contributor who writes and speaks about collisions at the intersection of politics, race, and society. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Advertisement

Popular