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Facebook busts 400 malicious Apps on Apple & Google App stores

Malicious developers create malware apps disguised as apps with fun or useful functionality — like cartoon image editors or music players



Los Angeles Blade file photo

MENLO PARK, CA. – The Threat Disruption, Malware Discovery and Detection security team at Meta, parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp announced Friday that its security research and engineering teams have identified 400 malicious Android and iOS apps this year that target people across the internet to steal their Facebook login information.

According to David Agranovich, Director of the Threat Disruption, Malware Discovery and Detection security team at Meta, the apps were listed on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store and disguised as photo editors, games, VPN services, business apps and other utilities to trick people into downloading them. Some examples include:

  • Photo editors, including those that claim to allow you to “turn yourself into a cartoon”
  • VPNs claiming to boost browsing speed or grant access to blocked content or websites
  • Phone utilities such as flashlight apps that claim to brighten your phone’s flashlight 
  • Mobile games falsely promising high-quality 3D graphics
  • Health and lifestyle apps such as horoscopes and fitness trackers
  • Business or ad management apps claiming to provide hidden or unauthorized features not found in official apps by tech platforms.
Pie chart showing categories of malicious apps

This is a highly adversarial space and while our industry peers work to detect and remove malicious software, some of these apps evade detection and make it onto legitimate app stores. We’ve reported these malicious apps to our peers at Apple and Google and they have been taken down from both app stores prior to this report’s publication. We are also alerting people who may have unknowingly self-compromised their accounts by downloading these apps and sharing their credentials, and are helping them to secure their accounts.

How Do These Apps Work?

Malware apps on third-party app stores are disguised to look fun or useful

Malicious developers create malware apps disguised as apps with fun or useful functionality — like cartoon image editors or music players — and publish them on mobile app stores. 

Their developers may publish fake reviews of the app to cover up negative ones

To cover up negative reviews by people who have spotted the defunct or malicious nature of the apps, developers may publish fake reviews to trick others into downloading the malware.

And hope that people will be tricked into downloading it

When a person installs the malicious app, it may ask them to “Login With Facebook” before they are able to use its promised features. If they enter their credentials, the malware steals their username and password. 

The malware can steal user's login information

If the login information is stolen, attackers could potentially gain full access to a person’s account and do things like message their friends or access private information.

Attackers can potentially gain full access to a person's account

To protect yourself against these bad actors Facebook recommends being aware of the following:

How You Can Stay Safe

There are many legitimate apps that offer the features listed above or that may ask you to sign in with Facebook in a safe and secure way. Cybercriminals know how popular these types of apps are and use these themes to trick people and steal their accounts and information. 

Malware apps often have telltale signs that differentiate them from legitimate apps. Here are a few things to consider before logging into a mobile app with your Facebook account:

  1. Requiring social media credentials to use the app: Is the app unusable if you don’t provide your Facebook information? For example, be suspicious of a photo-editing app that needs your Facebook login and password before allowing you to use it.
  2. The app’s reputation: Is the app reputable? Look at its download count, ratings and reviews, including negative ones. 
  3. Promised features: Does the app provide the functionality it says it will, either before or after logging in? 

Here are a few examples of malware apps we found to provide no functionality until you log in with your social media account.

Examples of malicious apps
Example of malicious apps

What to Do If You’re Affected

If you believe you’ve downloaded a malicious app and have logged in with your social media or other online credentials, we recommend that you delete the app from your device immediately and follow the following instructions to secure your accounts: 

  1. Reset and create new strong passwords. Never reuse your password across multiple websites. 
  2. Enable two-factor authentication, preferably using an Authenticator app, to add an extra security layer to your account. 
  3. Turn on log-in alerts so you’ll be notified if someone is trying to access your account. Be sure to review your previous sessions to ensure you recognize which devices have access to your account.

We also encourage people to report malicious applications that compromise Meta accounts to us through our Data Abuse Bounty program.

Threat Indicators

Threat indicators are also available in CSV, TSV, and JSON formats at 

Meta’s security team listed the Apps discovered to be malicious:

Android Apps

Android Package NameApp Name
apex.hoolom.racecar.appApex Race Game
callerscreen.paper.ringshowCallerPaper Show
com.abs.provideo_editorVideo Converter Master Photo Cartoon
com.addtextcoon.shapermoterPhoto Frame PIP Collage Maker
com.adonarusso.daily.horoscopeZodiHoroscope – Fortune Finder
com.ads_manager_helperAds Manager Helper Optimization Meta
com.adsagency.socialmngAd Manager For Social
com.agehohn.fpsgame.appAgent John FPS Game
com.allsite.unloUnblocked Website
com.amazcam.apbestBest Fun Cam
com.amazing.psychologyfactsPsychology Facts
com.androiddharmesh.editorCool Photo Editor
com.androiddharmesh.fashioncamCool Filter Editor
com.anhhuy.adsAds & Page
com.anhhuy.adspagesmanagerAds Pages Manager Master
com.applock.easyuse.lockAppLock-Lock Apps & Privacy Guard Picture Editor
com.artext.picshowText Camera
com.artoon.toonphotoArtoon Photo Cartoon Creator
com.artpics.camproPics Art
com.ashtoon.tooncool.skordoiAshtoon Cartoon Editor
com.atharva.perfect.photoeffectsPerfect Photo Effects | Loop Photo Animator
com.ballmaster.puzzleBomb Master 3D Music Downloader & Free Mp3 Downloader Camera
com.beautycamera.plusfunyBeauty Camera Plus
com.beautyeditor.bestphotoeditorPhoto Editor
com.beautymakeup.cameramBeauty Makeup Camera
com.bestpuz.gams.artpicsArt Puzzle 2021
com.biscoco.camfilterBiscuit Coco Cam
com.bluee.gormeBlue-shoot Game
com.blur.image.handleBlur Photo
com.blut.shootingBluetouch Shooting Game
com.bobom.crashran.raceRanger Crash Game VPN
com.borderedit.cameraappBorder Sticker Camera
com.brawsantoon.besteditorSkintoon – Labs of Cartoon
com.businessplannerdesignBusiness Planner Manage filter camera
com.camepicin.libeventPIP Camera 2022
com.candlesvpn.proxyssCandles VPN
com.caniqiwa.perfectpuzzlesPerfect Puzzles
com.cartoons.photofacemakerPhoto editor PIP collage maker
com.caryshughes.toonprismaeffectToonPrisma – 3D Photo Effect
com.charlottefabron.hdvideoplayerHD Video Player with music
com.cliffbradley.youtooncartooneffectYouToon – AI Cartoon Effect
com.colinread.playphooteditorPlay Phoot Editor & Collage
com.collageimage.photofilterPhoto Filter
com.coolcall.callshowColor Call
com.coolcall.newspipcameraPhoto PIP Camera
com.craftstoon.cartoonphotoCraftsart Cartoon Photo Tools
com.creatoonbest.faceeditCreatoon Face Editor
com.creatorlena.viedsPhoto Video Editor:Lena Editor Camera
com.customcamare.ppcameraPhoto Pro 2021
com.d2p.ads_manager_plusAds Manager Plus
com.dahuadata.photomakerpipMaker PIP Gallery
com.dashboardmanagemetaPages Dashboard
com.davykinsman.photoquipo.cartooneffectPhotoquipo Cartoon Pic Effect Wallpaper
com.deepwallpaper.hd.liveDeep Wallpaper-live,HD
com.dennisarmstrong.videolancervideomakerVideolancer – Pro Video Maker
com.dreammaker.phgridpipPIP Collage Coco
com.dressing.charm.appsDress up Charming
com.dwyzb23xjiqpsn.zbqyuvfgtion3 Patti King – India Rummy
com.dypica.facepictureFace Picture
com.dysfree.barcode.scannerQR Barcode Scan
com.edgarmay.atecphotoeffectAtec Sparkle Photo Editor 2022
com.editor.xinphotoEnjoy Photo Editor
com.edmondatrentini.dingdingphotoeffectDing Ding Photo Effect Editor
com.expto.akgarhwal.puzzlexArt Photo Puzzle
com.fabiomancini.cartoonpainteffectCartoon Face Photo Editor
com.faceart.savetoon.cartooneditSavetoon Art – Face Cartoon
com.faceartoon.studioonFacetoon Photo Art VPN Proxy Optimize
com.fb.metas.adsmanagerAds Manager For Business
com.fillartoon.toonphotosPica Artoon Face Editor
com.filmstrip.drawanimaPhoto Layout Editor
com.filter.photoeditorInstapic: Photo Editor Pro, Collage Maker
com.fimeruv.shapephotoeditorShape Photo Editor
com.fiwyl.sharephotomakerShare Photo Maker
com.flnt.uckSpeedy Vpn Tunnel
com.floydhampton.moldishmansphotoeffectMoldish – Men’s Photo Editor
com.flyspeed.fishFlyFish Speed
com.fonts.text.boardStylist Fonts for Keyboard
com.fotspicass.makerpiccoaPIP Editor Frame Photo
com.fqrs.qrscappFlash QRCode Scanner VPN VPN Master
com.freevpn.proxytuberSuper Tuber VPN
com.freevpn.proxytubervpnTuber VPN – Free&Secure VPN Proxy Server
com.fstl.vtnelFast Vpn Tunnel
com.fucol.puzPhoto Puzzle 2021 Hero Racing
com.fysolasil.sharephotoeditorShare Photo Editor
com.gadybatax.artsphotosArts Photos Filters:Photo to Painting
com.gamebooster.safegameGame Booster
com.gcam.pvintVinto Cam
com.genten.soulmatchEmotion Checker
com.ghost.vpn.masterproxyGhost VPN Proxy
com.gpstrian.phototrianTrain Photo
com.grigoriipeerevozchiikov.animephotoAnime Photo
com.gtrid.edit.bingoemakerPhoto Editor Pic Collage
com.HalogenElement.Frame.TrainPhotoFrameTrain Photo Frame
com.hiepro.hiynodeHiyoo Hidenode pro
com.hiranursaygi.allinoneofficereaderAll in one Doc Editor & Viewer Wallpaper
com.hotspot.vpn.freeproxyHotspot Free VPN
com.hqapps.ppp.wallpaperHighquality Purple Wallpaper
com.hunbeiren.pipeditorimagePIP Editor Image
com.iceselfie.beautycamxIce Selfie Beauty Cam
com.image.move.puzzleImage Move Puzzle
com.instagram.appBusiness from Instagram
com.interaction.wonderfulWonderful Camera
com.ivorfrazier.orahororscopeOra Horoscope – Fortune Finder
com.jxpsnyy.kbvjdjx.dingdingphotoeffectDing Ding Photo Editor
com.kali_corporation.skethcamplusSketch CamPlus Translator
com.kangaroo.vpnproxyKangaroo VPN
com.katarinalang.photocollage.roomPhotoont – Photo Collage Edit
com.kotmob.palmistryPalmistry Reading Free
com.kutsalkoyuncu.toonexphotoediotrToonex Photo Editor 2022 fitness
com.leneroth.photocollagegridmakerPic Collage & Cartoon Editor
com.liannasoft.editorcam4K Camera Hyper Photo Filters
com.liferun.freegameLife Run
com.lightling.creatortoon.cartoonLighting Creator Toon
com.lightning.vpn.proxysLightning VPN
com.likefile.superfileFiles Clear
com.lofacartoon.azwajstudioLofa – Studio Photo Cartoon
com.luckycatcher.freegameLucky Catcher – Catch Them All
com.lucpro.luckyproLucky Number Pro
com.lujeqari.videoremakerVideo Remaker
com.madtoon.aicartoon.kiroahMadToon Face Cartoon Horoscope
com.marcyl.wagbversion.gblatest.gbproversion.liteGB WA Warna Latest Version
com.masto.kicterFree Comic Photos
com.maxinetate.jessicabailey.fosterphotoeffectFoster – Cartoon Photo Effect Photo Editor
com.meta.adsformeta2Business Ads for Meta
com.meta.adsformeta3Business Meta Manager
com.meta.optimizerMeta Optimizer – Ads Analysis vpn
com.mexsier.nebwallpaperNebula Wallpaper
com.milohoward.rosalindvega.theobarber.photoframeeffecteditorPhoto Editor – Frame Effect
com.mkce.fsvcFull Screen Video Editor
com.mnbeautif.lanchmnNice Photo
com.moker.stickerSticker Maker Pro
com.mold.figure.gymMold Figure Gym
com.mood.cameraplussMood Camera
com.mosiaguda.astrohoroscopeAstro Horoscope Guide 2022 Music Player
com.newsandpic.cityphotoPhoto PIP 2022
com.niceimg.editorsaCamera PIP
com.nuclearpower.vpnpNuclear VPN Proxy
com.okenyo.creatkartoon.studioOkenyo Studio Creatoon
com.oknia.panacameraPana Camera
com.olfitness.androidDaily Fitness OL
com.onlansuyanto.editor.badingOnlan Cartoon Editor
com.oransoda.player.sodaSoda Music Player
com.palmistry.ofdestinyPalmistry of Destiny
com.papalai.popularemojiPopular Emoji
com.pedomeste.steppedometerHot Sexy Girls
com.perfectphoto.lookablumPerfect Photo Album
com.peweephotoon.halfcartoonPewee Photoon – Photo Cartoon
com.phabanner.cameraigPhoto PIP
com.phonepad.sniperCritical Strike Ops – FPS 3D shooting Game
com.phonepad.towerdefenseTower Defense Zone – Batmen Rush Photo Adjuster Effect Camera Gaming Puzzle Camera
com.photoeditor.pipcamera.photoeffectsPip Camera 2022
com.photoeditor.proyPhoto editor Pro
com.photoeditor.sweetsummerSweet Summer Camera App
com.photoeditoreffect.mojungAbrasive Photo Editor
com.photolupo.pipwallPhoto Editors
com.photoplaze.rainbow.colorRainbow Photo Plaze
com.photosticker.camerayouPhoto Sticker&Camera:make you beauty
com.piccollage.imageeditorsPic collage: photo editor&beauty image
com.piclibra.apiceditorCamera PIP Editor Pic Camera Photo Editor
com.piphoto.pipsappPIP Photo
com.pipnames.gocameraPIP Editor Collage
com.Pixa.PhotoEditor.PicsArt.CollageMaker.Lightroom.PhotoLab.PixelLab.PixlrPixa: Photo Editor & Collage Maker
com.playrix.manormatterTreasures of the Pharaoh
com.plugiedit.editandimgPIP Pic Camera Photo Editor
com.postergrid.resdecypicPhoto Collage Maker Pic
com.pped.topcamPerfect Photo Editor
com.prettysmart.easyuse.powerlockSmart AppLock
com.privacyapp.applocker.coolockCool Lock
com.pulse.leftstrong.appPulse Music Player
com.pumpkinvpn.proxysafenPumpkin VPN Vpn Stable Secure internet Proxy
com.quality.famous.deepDeep Art Effects
com.realdrive.dreamgameReal Driving
com.rebekkadreyer.facecartooneffect.photoeditorPapatoon Face Art Editor
com.renanespic.addpiciCamera Photo Editor
com.retmagic.piplikePIP Magic 2022
com.rextate.photovideomakerPhoto Video Creator with Music
com.ring.alarm.tone.flashPop Ringtone
com.rismas.tdaycamChristmas Sticker Camera App
com.rnapp.fmfmAds Manager for Meta
com.roc.ketconRocket Connect
com.rushcar.hypergameRush Car 3D
com.rushhour.hyperovertakeRush Hour 3D – Heavy Traffic
com.rynama.videoeditorVideo Editor Link
com.saprontsevgertrud.cartoonillustratorCartoon Illustrator
com.satan.gifpipoPIPO GIF
com.secsurf.fastvpnSurf Vpn
com.seelad.mucxx.apoSealand Music Player
com.sensitivity.swarmphotoSwarm Photo
com.servotronicstech.perfectprocamPerfect ProCam
com.sheilacoleman.fissioneffectdoeditorFission Effectdo Pic Editor
com.shinestar.cameraxShineStar Camera
com.shirleypope.lightexposureeditLight Exposure Photo Editor
com.sketchmaster.camplusCartoon Cam Pro
com.slftz.xlzgHigh HD Wallpapers 4K
com.slidingpuzzle.slidepuzzleAmazing Photo Puzzle
com.sms.mms.message.ffei.freeSmart SMS Messages
com.snapcamera.beautyysSnap Beauty Camera
com.snapeditor.proproxySnap Editor Pro
com.snapface.sticker.cameraSnap Face Camera
com.snapsandwich.cameraSandwich SnapBeauty Cam
com.sofapro.editortoonSofa Cartoon – Pro Editor
com.solupho.imdetailPIP 2022
com.spedgame.dsrgDrift Speed Racing Game
com.speed.booster.phonefreeSpeed Booster
com.splicteout.photocollegerSplitScreen PIP
com.sqlengphoto.photoeditorpicmixPicMix Photo Editor Line
com.stillcut.spiraeffectPIP PHOTO
com.superior.speed.dataSuperior Speed
com.surfvpn.proxyfastSurfVPN – Fast VPN Proxy
com.svpnproxy.freeS-VPN Proxy
com.svpnproxy.safeclientS VPN – Fast & Safe VPN Client
com.sweet.lightlycameraLightly Camera
com.sweetcamera.filterfaceSweet Beauty Plus Camera Sweet Camera
com.tbn.fastsSpeedy Turbo
com.techno.photoposterframeFantastic camera
com.tentwheel.flyingphotoFlying Photo
com.theme.cartoon.board.keyCartoon Keyboard Theme
com.threetranslator.wonderasTranslation Assistant VPN Proxy
com.touchvpn.proxymasterTouch VPN Master
com.traffictour.freegameTraffic Tour 3D
com.trixgardner.photazophotoeffectPhotazo – PIP & Cartoon Effect
com.tuber.vpnproxy.internetTuber VPN Proxy
com.tubevpn.master.freeTubo VPN Master Turbo
com.ubo.tnspeedTurbo Net Net Lite – Fast & Easy use VPN
com.vendertext.onphotoVender Add Text on Photo
com.Videoeditortfs.proVideo Editor 2021
com.virgovpn.proxyyVirgo VPN
com.vivavpnbooster.freeViva VPN Booster
com.vivid.coltorVivid Cooleditor
com.voicechanger.soundseffectVoice Changer
com.vpn.proxy.unlimitedPrivate VPN HD
com.wallpaper4k.tools4K Wallpaper
com.wanstep.likekeepstepKeep Step
com.waxwell.saunders.pistaphotoeditorPista – Cartoon Photo Effect
com.waynecraig.magicalastrologyMagical Daily Astrology Reader
com.whddhd.brilliantphotoBrilliant Photo
com.willowpena.fiestraphotoeditorPiestra – Comic & Blend Effect
com.wilmaarnold.kutsalsaglikSmart PDF Reader and Editor Fitness Pro
com.xcar.highwayrace.dsXcar Highway Race
com.xevaphoto.cartoonionXeva Photo Cartoon
com.xingx.gifimageGIFs-Search Animated GIF & Stickers
com.xinx.apls2021 MagicCamPlus
com.xinxin.anjoyartphotoEnjoy Art Photo
com.xonasounds.relaxingXona Relaxing Sounds
com.xooil.elzupMAGIC PHOTO PUZZLE
com.young.photoeditor.cartooneditorappCartoon Effects Photo Editor
com.yunlinan.photoeditorwallPhoto Editor Wall
com.yvpnproxy.freemasterY VPN Master
com.zoomate.vpn.proxy.freeZooMate VPN Proxy
crash.vila.touch.gameVilatouch crash game
crash.vltcar.fungame.appVilatouch crash car
fpsgame.olshooter.threed.appOnline Shooter FPS Music Downloader & Music Player
ftp.bomcarcing.crashcarsCrash Racing Game
ftp.camfilter.lovebeautyBeauty Camera Filter
ftp.firattck.fpsgameAction Flame FPS
ftp.piaoyi.racegamesDrift Sprint Racing Game
ftp.raceranger.gameppCityRanger Racing Game
funcam.fredonm.appThefun Camera
game.deserthuting.appDesert Hunting Game
game.trytospin.nipsotyrtllTry to spin
lunarzodiacg.besthoroLunar Zodiac Horoscope Flash
media.grape.sdhnt.playerGrape Media Player Music Player Fitness 2020 Ultra Camera
net.fpsol.shootersCode Name-Vulture FPS OL
net.kanvpn.fastspeedKangaroo Fast VPN
net.musicesapp.playerMuses Music Player Camera
net.snaphdphotoeditorapp.ishscsnaphdphotoeditorSnap: HD Photo Editor
net.ssonn.boomraceLightning Drift Racing
net.sweetplus.camxOne-Sweet Camera
net.teecho.camche.cameraBaby Camera
org.crashmaster.funrace.apsCrash Race Master
org.donfan.player.appDonfan Music Player
org.mumu.hdpalyer.appsMulu Music Player
org.musinvshen.playerMusae Music Player
org.nzombie.hutgameNight Hunter Game Music Player
org.svpn.goatsheepGoat Safe VPN
org.zipaimei.camfilterSnapBeauty Cam Filter
player.mmm.mediapp.otrsMostfun Media Music
player.pmte.nfyti.mediaPomelo Music Player
player.seashel.loud.mediaSealod Music Player
player.shellvoice.appSeaShell Music Player
proflash.flash.comProFlash camera
race.apex.accre.gameApex Crash Race
solo.impostormaster.killImpostor Master Solo Kill 2021
spdcar.gamedrag.racgame.appInstant Drag Speed Racing Speed Race
win.bestrace.threed.gameCity Crash Racing Game
win.calshow.zzplus.appCallpaper Show
win.hapsunday.mplayerSunday Media Player
win.hoomhom.fpsgameFlame Shock FPS
win.modoen.time.camerModern Time Camera
win.smartgame.sortpuz.appRainbow Square- Sort Puzzle
win.tebag.camapTea Bag Camera

iOS Apps 

iOS App IDApp Name
1555651942FB Advertising Optimization
1561642325Business ADS Manager
1563142182Ads Analytics
1564091908FB Adverts Optimization
1566705026FB Analytic
1566706023FB Adverts Community
1574530186Adverts Ai Optimize
1587056055Very Business Manager
1591775710FB Business Support
1593368297Fb Ads
1596775769Meta Optimizer
1597553589Business Manager Pages
1598946098Adverts Manager
1600072709Meta Adverts Manager
1600404846Ad Optimization Meta
1601275530FB Pages Manager
1602637866Business Ads
1603255418Meta Business
1603571287Business Suite Manager
1604086670FB Ads Cost
1607057895Adverts Bussiness Suite
1608743187Business Ads Clock
1609915932Ads & Pages
1610859814Business Suite
1610944161Business & Ads
1612196202Business Manager Overview
1613983385Business Suite Ads
1619733733Page Suite Manager
1622402517Business Meta Support
1623362126Pages Manager Suite
1625368035Business Meta Pages
1626632781Business Suite Ads
1626692617Ads Business Knowledge
1629919774Page Suite Managers
1631778308Pages Managers Suite
1632069527Ads Business Advance
1632606219Pages Manager Suite
1633012933Business Suite Optimize
1633016482Business Manager Suite
1633078757Business Suite Managers
1633828994Ads Business Manager
1635045234Ads Business Suite
1635301567Business Manager Pages
1635555183Business Adverts Manager
1636196931Ads Manager Suite
1636825108Business Manager Pages
1639572841Ads & Business Suite

Social Media Platforms

Social Media platforms still lagging on critical LGBTQ+ protections

All Social Media platforms should have policy prohibitions against harmful so-called “Conversion Therapy” content



Photo by Dan Balinovic

By Leanna GarfieldJenni Olson | NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization released new reports documenting the current state of two important LGBTQ safety policy protections on social media platforms. 

The reports show how numerous platforms and apps (including, most recently Snapchat) are increasingly adopting two LGBTQ safety protections that GLAAD’s Social Media Safety Program advocates as best practices for the industry: firstly, expressly stated policies prohibiting targeted misgendering and deadnaming of transgender and nonbinary people (i.e. intentionally using the wrong pronouns or using a former name to express contempt); and secondly, expressly stated policies prohibiting the promotion and advertising of harmful so-called “conversion therapy” (a widely condemned practice attempting to change an LGBTQ person’s sexual orientation or gender identity which has been banned or restricted in dozens of countries and US states). 


Major companies that have such LGBTQ policy safeguards include: TikTokTwitchPinterestNextDoor, and now Snapchat.

Companies lagging behind and failing to provide such protections include: YouTubeBlueSkyLinkedInReddit, and MastodonX/Twitter and Meta’s InstagramFacebook, and Threads have received partial credit due to “self-reporting” requirements.


“Now is the time for all social media platforms and tech companies to step up and prioritize LGBTQ safety,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “We urge all social media platforms to adopt, and enforce, these policies and to protect LGBTQ people — and everyone.”

Companies will have another opportunity to be acknowledged for updating their policies later this year. To be released this summer, GLAAD’s annual Social Media Safety Index report will feature an updated version of the charts.

Conversion Therapy


The widely debunked and harmful practice of so-called “conversion therapy” falsely claims to change an LGBTQ person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and has been condemned by all major medical, psychiatric, and psychological organizations including the American Medical Association and American Psychological Association. Globally, there has been a growing movement to ban “conversion therapy” at the national level. As of February 2024, 14 countries have such bans, including Canada, France, Germany, Malta, Ecuador, Brazil, Taiwan, and New Zealand. In the United States, 22 states and the District of Columbia have restrictions in place.

Expressing concurrence with GLAAD’s Social Media Safety Program guidance, IFTAS (the non-profit supporting the Fediverse moderator community) stated in a February 2024 announcement: “Due to the widespread and insidious nature of expressing anti-transgender sentiments in bad faith, it’s imperative to have specific policy addressing this issue.” Further explaining the rationale behind such policies, the IFTAS announcement continues: “This approach is considered a best practice for two key reasons: it offers clear guidance to users, and it assists moderators in recognizing and understanding the intent behind such statements. It’s important to reiterate that the focus is not about accidentally getting someone’s pronouns wrong. Rather, our concern centers on deliberate and targeted acts of hate and harassment.” 

Conveying appreciation to companies but also highlighting the need for policy enforcement, GLAAD’s new reporting notes that while the policies mark significant progress: “These new policy additions do not solve the extremely significant other related issue of policy enforcement (a realm in which many platforms are known to be doing a woefully inadequate job).” 

There is broad consensus and building momentum toward protecting LGBTQ people, and especially LGBTQ youth, from this dangerous practice. However, “conversion therapy” disinformation, extremist scare-tactic narratives, and the profit-driven promotion of such services continues to be widespread on social media platforms, via both organic content and advertising. And, as a December 2023 Trevor Project report reveals, “conversion therapy” continues to happen in nearly every US state.

Thankfully, more tech companies and social media platforms are taking leadership to address the spread of content that promotes and advertises “conversion therapy.” In December 2023, the social platform Post added an express prohibition of such content to their policies, and in January 2024 Spoutible did the same. That same month, in response to key stakeholder guidance from GLAAD, IFTAS (the non-profit supporting the Fediverse moderator community) crafted sample policy language and implemented an “IFTAS LGBTQ+ Safety Server Pledge” system for the Fediverse, in which servers can sign-on confirming they have incorporated a policy prohibiting both the promotion of “conversion therapy” content and targeted misgendering and deadnaming. In February, Snapchat also added both prohibitions into their Hateful Content and Harmful False or Deceptive Information community guidelines policies.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis acknowledged this recent progress, saying to The Advocate: “Adopting new policies prohibiting so-called ‘conversion therapy’ content puts these companies ahead of so many others. GLAAD urges all social media platforms to adopt, and enforce, this policy and protect their LGBTQ users.”

A January 2024 report from the Global Project on Hate & Extremism (GPAHE) illuminates how many social media companies and search engines are failing to mitigate harmful content and ads promoting “conversion therapy.” The report outlines the enormous amount of work that needs to be done, and offers many examples of simple solutions that platforms can and should urgently implement. Recommendations from the report are listed below.

In February 2022, GLAAD worked with TikTok to have the platform add an explicit prohibition of content promoting “conversion therapy.” TikTok updated its community guidelines to include the following: “Adding clarity on the types of hateful ideologies prohibited on our platform. This includes … content that supports or promotes conversion therapy programs. Though these ideologies have long been prohibited on TikTok, we’ve heard from creators and civil society organizations that it’s important to be explicit in our Community Guidelines.”

In 2022, GLAAD also urged both YouTube and Twitter (now X) to add an express prohibition of “conversion therapy” into their content and ad guidelines. While X does not currently have such a policy, YouTube, with the assistance of its AI systems, does mitigate “conversion therapy” content by showing an information panel from the Trevor Project that reads: “Conversion therapy, sometimes referred to as ‘reparative therapy,’ is any of several dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.” However, unlike TikTok and Meta, YouTube does not include an explicit prohibition in its Hate Speech Policy.

Meta’s Facebook and Instagram (and by extension Threads which is guided by Instagram’s policies) currently do have such a prohibition (against: “Content explicitly providing or offering to provide products or services that aim to change people’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”). However it is listed separately from the company’s standard three tiers of content moderation consideration as requiring, “additional information and/or context to enforce.” GLAAD has recommended that it be elevated to a higher priority tier. In addition to this content policy, Meta’s Unrealistic Outcomes ad standards policy also prohibits: “Conversion therapy products or services. This includes but is not limited to: Products aimed at offering or facilitating conversion therapy such as books, apps or audiobooks; Services aimed at offering or facilitating conversion therapy such as talk therapy, conversion ministries or clinical therapy; Testimonials of conversion therapy, specifically when posted or boosted by organizations that arrange and provide such services.”

Among other platforms, it is notable that the community guidelines of both Pinterest and NextDoor include a prohibition against content promoting or supporting “conversion therapy and related programs.” While Twitch’s community guidelines expressly state that: “regardless of your intent, you may not: Encourage the use of or generally endorsing sexual orientation conversion therapy.” As mentioned above, Post and Spoutible also have amended their policies, with Spoutible’s new guidelines being the most extensive:

Prohibited Content: Any content that promotes, endorses, or provides resources for ‘conversion therapy.’ Content that claims sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed or ‘cured.’ Advertising or soliciting services for ‘conversion therapy.’ Testimonials supporting or promoting the effectiveness of ‘conversion therapy.’

Spoutible’s policy also thoughtfully outlines these exceptions:

Content that discusses ‘conversion therapy’ in a historical or educational context may be allowed, provided it does not advocate for or glorify the practice. Personal stories shared by survivors of ‘conversion therapy,’ which do not promote the practice, may be permissible.

In addition to GLAAD’s advocacy efforts advising platforms to add prohibitions against content promoting “conversion therapy” to their community guidelines, we also urge these companies to effectively enforce these policies.

To clarify even further, all platforms should add express public-facing language prohibiting the promotion of “conversion therapy” to both their community guidelines and advertising services policies. While some platforms have described off-the-record that “conversion therapy” material is prohibited under the umbrella of other policies — policies prohibiting hateful ideologies, for instance — the prohibition of “conversion therapy” promotion should be explicitly stated publicly in their community guidelines and other policies.

When such content is reported, it’s also important for moderators to make judgments about the content in context, and distinguish between harmful content promoting “conversion therapy” versus content that mentions or discusses “conversion therapy” (i.e. counter-speech). As a 2020 Reuters story details, social media platforms can provide a space for “conversion therapy” survivors to share their experiences and find community.

GLAAD also urges all platforms to review and follow the below recommendations from the Global Project on Hate & Extremism (GPAHE):

To protect their users, tech companies must:

  • Use common sense when evaluating whether content violates rules on conversion therapy and remember that it is dangerous, and sometimes deadly, to allow pro-conversion therapy material to surface. It is quintessential medical disinformation.
  • Invest in non-English, non-American cultural and language resources. The disparity in the findings for non-English users is stark.
  • Elevate authoritative resources in the language being used for the terms found in the appendix.
  • Incorporate “same-sex attraction” and “unwanted same-sex attraction” into their algorithm that moderates conversion therapy content and elevate authoritative content.
  • Create or expand the use of authoritative information boxes about conversion therapy, preferably in the language being used.
  • All online systems must keep up with the constant rebranding and use of new terms, in all languages, that the conversion therapy industry uses.
  • Refrain from defaulting to English content in non-English speaking countries where possible, and if this is the only content available it must be authoritative and translatable.
  • All companies must avail themselves of civil society and subject matter experts to keep their systems current.
  • Additional recommendations from previous GPAHE research.

Source: Conversion Therapy Online: The Ecosystem in 2023 (Global Project Against Hate & Extremism, Jan 2024)

An earlier version of this overview first appeared in Tech Policy Press and was adapted from the 2023 GLAAD Social Media Safety Index report. The next report is forthcoming in the summer of 2024.

The preceding article was previously published by GLAAD and is republished by permission.

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Social Media Platforms

Meta announces new guidelines for teens on Instagram-Facebook

Implementation of the new polices means teens will see their accounts placed on the most restrictive settings on the platforms



Entrance sign to Meta headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. (Los Angeles Blade file photo)

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Social media giant Meta announced Tuesday that new content policies for teens restricting access to inappropriate content including posts about suicide, self-harm and eating disorders on both of its largest platforms, Instagram and Facebook.

In a post on the company blog, Meta wrote:

Take the example of someone posting about their ongoing struggle with thoughts of self-harm. This is an important story, and can help destigmatize these issues, but it’s a complex topic and isn’t necessarily suitable for all young people. Now, we’ll start to remove this type of content from teens’ experiences on Instagram and Facebook, as well as other types of age-inappropriate content. We already aim not to recommend this type of content to teens in places like Reels and Explore, and with these changes, we’ll no longer show it to teens in Feed and Stories, even if it’s shared by someone they follow

“We want teens to have safe, age-appropriate experiences on our apps,” Meta said.

Implementation of the new polices means teens will see their accounts placed on the most restrictive settings on the platforms, the caveat being that the teen didn’t lie about their age when they set the accounts up.

Other changes the company announced include:

To help make sure teens are regularly checking their safety and privacy settings on Instagram, and are aware of the more private settings available, we’re sending new notifications encouraging them to update their settings to a more private experience with a single tap. If teens choose to “Turn on recommended settings”, we will automatically change their settings to restrict who can repost their content, tag or mention them, or include their content in Reels Remixes. We’ll also ensure only their followers can message them and help hide offensive comments.


In November, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the public release of a largely unredacted copy of the federal complaint filed by a bipartisan coalition of 33 attorneys general against Meta Platforms, Inc. and affiliates (Meta) on October 24, 2023.

Co-led by Attorney General Bonta, the coalition is alleging that Meta designed and deployed harmful features on Instagram and Facebook that addict children and teens to their mental and physical detriment.

Highlights from the newly revealed portions of the complaint include the following:

  • Mark Zuckerberg personally vetoed Meta’s proposed policy to ban image filters that simulated the effects of plastic surgery, despite internal pushback and an expert consensus that such filters harm users’ mental health, especially for women and girls. Complaint ¶¶ 333-68.
  • Despite public statements that Meta does not prioritize the amount of time users spend on its social media platforms, internal documents show that Meta set explicit goals of increasing “time spent” and meticulously tracked engagement metrics, including among teen users. Complaint ¶¶ 134-150.
  • Meta continuously misrepresented that its social media platforms were safe, while internal data revealed that users experienced harms on its platforms at far higher rates. Complaint ¶¶ 458-507.
  • Meta knows that its social media platforms are used by millions of children under 13, including, at one point, around 30% of all 10–12-year-olds, and unlawfully collects their personal information. Meta does this despite Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress in 2021 that Meta “kicks off” children under 13. Complaint ¶¶ 642-811.

The Associated Press reported that critics charge Meta’s moves don’t go far enough.

“Today’s announcement by Meta is yet another desperate attempt to avoid regulation and an incredible slap in the face to parents who have lost their kids to online harms on Instagram,” said Josh Golin, executive director of the children’s online advocacy group Fairplay. “If the company is capable of hiding pro-suicide and eating disorder content, why have they waited until 2024 to announce these changes?”

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Online Culture

Did Marvel Comics just reveal a classic X-Men character is trans?

Until now, the X-Men have never had a trans member That may have just changed with the publication of X-Men Blue: Origins #1



X-Men antihero Mystique was portrayed by actress Jennifer Lawrence in four films. (Disney/Los Angeles Blade graphic)

By Rob Salerno | HOLLYWOOD – Marvel Comics’ mutant superheroes the X-Men have always been a metaphor for the struggle against prejudice, boasting a diverse cast of characters that have represented a wide spectrum of characters of different races, sexual orientations, and even species. But until now, the X-Men have never had a trans member.

That may have just changed with the publication of X-Men Blue: Origins #1 by Si Spurrier, Wilton Santos, and Marcus To this week, a story that finally gives the full origin of the mysterious Nightcrawler, who had previously been established as the son of the shape-changing Mystique and a demon named Azazel – all three characters who have appeared in Fox’s X-Men films.

Courtesy Marvel Comics

Be warned, spoilers follow from here.

In the new issue, Mystique finally confesses the truth of Nightcrawler’s birth. As Mystique now tells it, she didn’t actually give birth to Nightcrawler – her female partner and longtime lover Destiny did. And Nightcrawler’s father? Well, Nightcrawler’s biological father is actually Mystique, who explains that with her shape-changing powers, she has lived as both male and female.

Does that make Mystique trans? Well, the T-word is never actually uttered in the comic, but Mystique’s own words when Nightcrawler protests that she’s female are a firm rejection of the gender binary.

“Don’t be pathetic. I have lived for years as sapiens males. Years more as females. Do you know what I have observed? They’re all as awful as each other. The only true binary division lies not between the genders or sexes or sexualities. It lies between those who are allowed to be who they wish, and those denied that right,” she says.

Courtesy Marvel Comics.

The revelation isn’t entirely unprecedented. It has long been known in fan circles that Mystique’s creator and longtime X-Men writer Chris Claremont had intended to reveal that Mystique and Destiny were Nightcrawler’s parents, but that Marvel Comics wouldn’t permit queer characters in their books in the 1980s. 

Eventually Marvel reversed that policy, and Mystique and Destiny’s relationship is a main story in current X-Men comics, with Marvel even referring to them as “the greatest love story in mutant history” in a recent press release. Marvel has also published comics set in an alternate universe where Mystique is portrayed as male. 

While more openly trans characters have appeared in mainstream comics in recent years, these characters have mostly been relegated to guest-starring and supporting characters. For example, Marvel introduced the trainee member Escapade in the X-Men spinoff comic New Mutants last year, while Marvel’s TV shows Jessica Jones and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law gave both heroines trans assistants. 

Mystique is now arguably the highest-profile trans character in mainstream superhero comics, as a major character in comics’ biggest franchise, and having been portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence and Rebecca Romijn in seven X-Men films.

Drawing of Mystique kissing Destiny – Variant Cover to X-Men Blue: Origins #1, art by Russel Dauterman, courtesy Marvel Comics.

Early reaction to the story has been incredibly positive from X-Men’s queer fandom.

“The heart of the story is Mystique embodying the trans ideal of complete and total bodily autonomy, transcending sex and gender to create life with the woman she loves,” wrote @LokiFreyjasbur on Twitter.

Marvel Comics is wholly owned by Disney.

Marvel advancing a story about a gender-nonconforming character flies in the face of a disturbing recent trend in corporate America of being overly cautious about LGBT issues in the wake of far-right backlash after Bud Light partnered with a trans influencer and Target put up its annual Pride display.


Rob Salerno is a writer and journalist based in Los Angeles, California, and Toronto, Canada.

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Online Culture

TikTok video of Cody Conner, a Virginia Beach dad, is going viral

“I’m here to tell you that if your love makes somebody not want to be alive, it’s not love. That’s not love”



Cody Conner, a father of three kids gave a passionate speech to the Virginia Beach City Public Schools' board meeting supporting LGBTQ+ kids. (Photo Credit: Cody Conner/Facebook)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va, – Cody Conner, a father of three kids gave a passionate speech supporting LGBTQ+ kids during the Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ board meeting last month that was uploaded as a TikTok video that has since gone viral.

Conner excoriated the board for considering implementation of Republican Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s anti-trans school policies.

“You are never going to find a right way to do the wrong thing and Governor Youngkin’s policies are wrong,” Conner told the board.

“Never in history have the good guys been the segregationist group pushing to legislate identity,” he said. “Never in history have the good guys been closely connected with and supported by hate groups like the Proud Boys. And the good guys don’t put Hitler quotes for inspiration on the front of their newsletters. News flash: they’re the bad guys. They’re the bad guys supporting bad policy. And if you support the same bad policy, guess what? You’re one of the bad guys too.”

“When you look around and see only the wrong people supporting what you’re doing, you’re doing the wrong thing.“ Now you’ve heard some speakers come up here and say how they love these kids but won’t accept them. I’m here to tell you that if your love makes somebody not want to be alive, it’s not love. That’s not love.

“Some of you are going to get up here and say ‘it’s the law.’ Well, I remind you that slavery and segregation used to be the law here in Virginia.”

“I just knew I couldn’t standby and do nothing, just let it happen and hope everything worked out ok and I also wanted to make sure my kid knew that I would stand up for them,” Conner explains as he begins to tear up. “My big job as a parent is not to tell my children who they are, it’s not to make the decisions for them, it’s not to live their life or decide what their life is going to be, but to show them the best way I know how to walk through this world.”

According to PRIDE journalist Ariel Messman-Rucker, Conner moved his family to Virginia Beach right before Youngkin’s policies passed and he worries about the future of his 13-year-old trans daughter who is now in the 8th grade. The family moved from rural Virginia to Virginia Beach so that their kid, who came out as trans a year ago, would be in a school system that would be supportive, but that all changed because of Youngkin.

The 42-year-old father told PRIDE he’s a quiet person and might not have made the choice to speak up if not for his kids.

Virginia’s Department of Education at the direction of the Governor has set out “model policies” for public schools that require students to use the bathroom and sports team that matches their sex at birth.

The policies require written instruction from parents for a student to use names or gender pronouns that differ from the official record, meaning that teacher can deadname students—refer to them by their prior name—if paperwork isn’t filled out by the parents and it requires the school to inform parents if a student is questioning their identity, according to 13 News Now.

LGBTQ+ rights activists including Equality Virginia have stated these policies will be especially detrimental to LGBTQ+ students who come from conservative non-affirming homes.

The Virginia Beach School Board in a 9-1 vote approved an updated policy for transgender and nonbinary students.

The new policy will require teachers to use pronouns and names that are on official record with exceptions for nicknames commonly associated with the student’s legal name. If a student requests anything else, teachers will be required to report it to the parents. Students must also use bathrooms and participate in sports teams that correspond to their assigned sex. 

@beezay22 #CapCut #virginia #virginiabeach #schoolboard #schoolboardmeetings #lgbtqiaplus #transrightsarehumanrights #protecttranskids #stoptransgenocide #fyp ♬ original sound – BeezayDad

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Baldur’s Gate 3 is the Queerest AAA Video Game Yet

The game is earning accolades, smashing sales expectations, and making pansexuality the norm



Image via Larian Studios Games Ltd.

By Eric Tannehill | GHENT, Belgium – Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3) is a fantasy role playing game (RPG) based on the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition ruleset for game mechanics. It was released on August 3rd, 2023 to widespread critical acclaim.

Unusually for a AAA game, it had spent six years in development, and almost three years of that in early access open beta testing. Larian Studios developed BG3 as a sequel to the first two games, which were released in 1998 and 1999 respectively. 

It’s hard to overstate how the game has outperformed expectations. Microsoft, which distributes the game through the Xbox platform, expected very little of it.  In a leaked document from the FTC v. Microsoft court case, Microsoft took a very dim view of the game’s prospects.

According to Microsoft internal documents, they called BG3 a “Second-run Stadia PC RPG”, predicted as little as $5 million in revenue from the game, and ranked it behind the “Let’s Sing ABBA” karaoke game in terms of expected sales. 

Instead, almost 10 million copies have been sold on Steam as of September 20th, with gross revenue surpassing a half-billion dollars. Larian expected perhaps 100,000 users online at any given time, and instead saw a peak of 870,000 simultaneously. 

The game itself has done well in great part due to the outstanding voice acting, motion captured cut-scenes, excellent dialogue scripting, immersive characters, strong story lines, attention to detail in the game, and a nearly infinite number of possible endings that are dependent on the player’s choices.

The game’s flexibility allows the player to solve challenges in a myriad of different ways. The game feels immersive, with the non-player characters (NPCs) you interact with being engaging and interesting enough for players to become emotionally invested in them (instead of treating them like disposable meat-shields, unless you’ve decided on a sociopath playthrough, which is absolutely a thing the game allows you to do).

However, none of this addresses just how queer-friendly this game is from start to finish, and how this hasn’t prevented its success. On the contrary, it’s likely been a selling point rather than a hindrance. 

During character creation, the game allows you to pick male or female voices with any body type. You can choose male, female, or non-binary pronouns, and even select the genitals your characters have. All of these choices are independent of one another. Then there’s the “paper doll” aspect to clothing. If you kill the evil high priestess of a cult and steal her magic dress, you can absolutely put your male NPCs in it.

There’s even a certain in-game logic to this: who has time for getting weird about gender norms, when you need every advantage you can get to save the world? Besides, it ends up with a bit of an Aqua-man vibe to it.

Screenshot/Larian Studios Games Ltd.

The queerness doesn’t stop there. There are romance options with many of the NPC companions you take with you on your adventures, and every one of them is canonically pansexual. They don’t care about your character’s genitals, pronouns, race, or class; it’s all about the choices you make as the player in dialogue, as well as how you pursue your in-game agenda. This would feel somewhat tacked on if the characters weren’t so well developed, and if it didn’t take 50+ hours of gameplay to explore these options.

This isn’t to say that the game forces it on you; they’re just options. If the player wants a completely gender and hetero-normative play-through, they can make that choice. If an NPC flirts with you in-game, you always have the option of picking the “not interested” dialogue option, and that’s the end of that.

Some of the darker corners of the internet have taken umbrage with all the options Larian provides in the game, but that obviously hasn’t stopped the game from selling a ridiculous number of copies. It has  exceeded all expectations, and been labelled a “masterpiece” by game reviewers. The character design is fantastic and has inspired legions of fans already.

The “go woke, go broke” mantra certainly didn’t hold  true here, and detractors haven’t gained real traction…perhaps because getting upset over imaginary video game characters in a fantasy world having imaginary queer identities seems sillier than playing a fantasy RPG in the first place.


Eric Tannehill is a student & trans activist living in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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Online Culture

Meta allowing misinfo & hate speech to proliferate on Threads

Meta released a statement admitting its not extending its fact-checking- users have flooded Threads with racist & anti-LGBTQ hate speech



Graphic by Andrea Austria for Media Matters

By Ethan Collier | WASHINGTON – Since its launch on July 5, Meta’s Threads has surpassed 100 million users, including far-right figures and extremists, and the platform quickly became rife with harmful content as Meta carved out exceptions to its community guidelines

As Media Matters previously reported, Meta launched Threads without the fact-checking program that aims to prevent the spread of misinformation on Facebook and Instagram and seemingly abandoned hate speech policies. The company even succumbed to complaints from right-wing users such as Ian Miles Cheong and Donald Trump Jr., dropping warning labels the platform initially placed on accounts with a history of spreading misinformation and restoring a post from anti-LGBTQ social media account Libs of TikTok that was previously removed as hate speech. 

Since Media Matters last documented misinformation and hate speech on Threads, top right-wing accounts have posted harmful content dozens more times — which Meta has not moderated.

Meta has allowed right-wing accounts to continue posting election and health misinformation, as well as conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden

Right-wing users on Threads have been able to peddle unchecked misinformation about the “rigged” 2020 election, COVID-19 vaccines, and abortion.

  • Media Research Center supported podcaster Joe Rogan’s absurd claim that Joe Biden’s victory was “rigged by the media,” stating, “He’s right. The media stole the presidency in 2020.” 
  • Epoch Times reporter and NTD News host Joshua Philipp claimed that “people have been conditioned during the COVID-19 pandemic to obey totalitarian policies they likely would have never gone along with in the past.”
  • The Threads account for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast shared a clip on Thursday featuring Naomi Wolf, who accused a prominent pharmaceutical company of committing fraud when it sought emergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine as proof that “people would have been worse off with the vaccine than without the vaccine, which is literally what we now know they are in terms of COVID and other side-effects.”
  • Founder of anti-abortion organization Live Action Lila Rose claimed, “It’s easy to ignore a statistic but it’s harder to ignore a story. Exposing the brutality of abortion—2500 children killed a day—is difficult, because the world likes to look the other way & abortion’s victims are nameless & voiceless babies.”
  • Live Action’s own Threads account is seemingly entirely dedicated to pushing dangerous claims about abortion, such as one post stating that birth control is “further promoting the sexual revolution’s agenda of convincing women that our liberation is chained to suppressing our fertility and killing our babies.” 
  • OutKick host Tomi Lahren complained that “confused Libs” are advocating for women’s rights when they “don’t know what a woman is” and instead “protect abortion and mutilation.” 

Despite a lack of evidence, right-wing figures baselessly claimed that a small amount of cocaine recently found in an area of the White House frequented by visitors and tour groups really belonged to Hunter Biden.

  • Rogan O’Handley, known online as DC Draino, wrote that it is “wild to me that Joe Biden helped pass the 1994 crime bill which imprisoned millions of black men for drug crime,” but “now when Hunter brings cocaine into the White House 30 years later, he gets a free pass once again.”
  • Donald Trump Jr. also raised suspicions, stating: “Absolutely no one watching is surprised that the most heavily secured, monitored, and guarded house in the world could not figure out the culprit! What exactly does insufficient DNA mean? It means… Hunter Biden!!!”
  • Right-wing personality Terrence K. William posted a meme implying the cocaine found in the White House is Hunter Biden’s.

Threads still isn’t enforcing the hate speech policies that govern Instagram, allowing users to post anti-LGBTQ, racist, and anti-immigrant rhetoric

Anti-LGBTQ attacks on Threads often include transphobic rhetoric and the “groomer” slur, as well as dangerous claims that the LGBTQ community is trying to “sexualize, sterilize and butcher” children. 

  • Conservative commentator Brandon Tatum posted a video with the caption “The LGBTQ community is being used to destroy the black community further!”
  • Teacher and host of the right-wing education podcast The Chalkboard Heresy Show Frank McCormick claimed, “Not even summer camp is safe from these exploitative groomers.” 
  • Far-right and anti-LGBTQ account Gays Against Groomers reposted an image of its tweet that read, “No one cares that you’re gay or trans. They care that you’re trying to sexualize, sterilize and butcher children.”
  • Grant Godwin, also known online as “The Typical Liberal,” shared a video proposing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require trans men to register for the draft. He stated, “I like where Rep. Tim Burchett’s head is at! Wanna be a boy? Time to do boy stuff. Or, hear me out, we can get back to reality.” 
  • PragerU ambassador and former Today Is America president Xaviaer DuRousseau captioned a photo of Charlize Theron with her children: “Adopting two sons just to force them into dresses and a mentally ill lifestyle is so feral. This should be illegal.” 
  • The Babylon Bee posted a link to its article misgendering U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Rachel Levine, for which the right-wing website’s account was previously suspended on Twitter (before being unilaterally restored under new owner Elon Musk).

Racist, anti-immigrant, and xenophobic hate speech on the platform have included fearmongering about an “invasion” of “illegal aliens,” the uncensored use of racial slurs, including the N-word, and attacks on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and representation.

  • Right-wing media personality and neo-Nazi collaborator Jack Posobiec has used Threads to spread cruel attacks against undocumented immigrants, falsely claiming that “illegal aliens are sex trafficking children and Joe Biden is helping them.”
  • A video posted twice of white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes saying the N-word has not been taken down in over a week. 
  • Bannon’s War Room linked to an Axios report on migration numbers with the caption: “It’s Called an Invasion—and Nations are finally waking up.” 
  • Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk mocked the diverse casting of the live-action reboot of Snow White, calling it “Snow White and her DEI Dwarfs” and suggesting that “Disney has lost $900 million at the box office on recent films, and something tells me that figure is only going to get worse.” 


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

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Online Culture

LGBTQ+ blogsite Joe.My.God celebrates 19 years & counting

As the attacks on the transgender community, drag community, & LGBTQ+ allies worsens, Jervis maintains his ‘call-to-arms’



Veteran blogger and journalist Joe Jervis with an admiring drag queen. (Photo Credit: Jervis/Facebook)

NEW YORK – Nearly two decades have gone by since journalist, editor, and blogger Joe Jervis created what is arguably the oldest LGBTQ+ politics, culture, lifestyle, and entertainment blog, all from his New York City apartment alongside a feline companion.

In his daily blog Friday, Jervis recounted:

“Today marks the nineteenth blogiversary of this here website thingy. Counting this one, we’re at 138,342 posts over 19 years, the last 15 of which have been without a full day off, although posting on weekends is usually at a slower rate. As I’ve said on this day every year, whether I am insanely committed or am insane and should be committed – that is entirely your call.”

The veteran writer is also very much an activist on issues that impact the LGBTQ+ community both at home in the United States and abroad. He has tirelessly campaigned to advance same-sex marriage, military service for the LGBTQ+ community, battling the far right attacks on the humanity of LGBTQ+ people, and most recently while defending the drag community against unfounded lies, smears, and labeling by the conservative family values politicos and leaders of the various anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups- has pointed out the utter hypocrisy of those very people maintaining a running scorecard of religious leaders being arrested for criminal sexual actions against children. Jervis points out in post after post that not a single drag performer has been arrested nor charged with those types of crimes.

As the attacks on the transgender community, drag community, and even LGBTQ+ allies worsen under the current political environment, Jervis maintains his ‘call-to-arms’ writing:

“On behalf of myself and our tireless tech support guy Jack, who deals with a lot of stupid nonsense at stupid hours, you have our eternal thanks for being part of the rollicking community of “homosexual buccaneers” and straight allies that fight the good fight. The ride will likely only get rougher from here, so hang on. We’ve got the kids and righteousness on our side.”

The politically astute Jervis has certainly gained his share of detractors, but over the past 19 years and with an aggregate total of over nearly 1.3M visitors a month to what he refers to as “this here website thingy,” there is little doubt his reach and his impact will continue to be felt by the LGBTQ+ community, its allies, and beyond.

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Online Culture

YouTube demonetizes Matt Walsh after repeated transphobic vitriol

Walsh has been leading boycott of Bud Light for its collaboration with TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney, whom he called “weird & artificial”



Graphic by Andrea Austria for Media Matters

By Ari Drennen | WASHINGTON – In a speech at the University of Iowa, self-described “theocratic fascist” and Daily Wire host Matt Walsh complained that his YouTube channel had been stripped of advertiser revenue, which he said was bringing in more than $100,000 per month.

An independent estimate suggests that Walsh’s YouTube revenue could have been as high as $1.6 million per year.

YouTube confirmed the demonetization, with a spokesperson writing, “We suspended monetization on Matt Walsh’s channel due to repeated violations of our YouTube Partner Program policies, which include our Advertiser-Friendly Guidelines. These policies apply equally to all creators, regardless of political viewpoint, and channels that repeatedly violate these policies are demonetized.”

The demonetization, which was announced before the speech in a Twitter thread by Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boering, reportedly comes in response to Walsh’s increasingly vitriolic campaign against Dylan Mulvaney, which escalated after the transgender TikTok star announced a collaboration with Bud Light. 

Speaking before an audience of college students, Walsh announced that rather than stop his tirades against Mulvaney, he would make his show free to all viewers on the Daily Wire+ app and would upload episodes to Twitter, suggesting some kind of deal with Twitter CEO Elon Musk. “I truly see the fight against gender ideology as the last stand for Western civilization,” Walsh said. “Because if the sane side loses this, it’s over. It’s over after this.”

Walsh has targeted Mulvaney in a series of increasingly vicious attacks over a period of several months, beginning with a rant in which Walsh told the trans influencer, “You are weird and artificial, you are manufactured and lifeless, you are unearthly and eerie.” The monologue led to backlash within right-wing media and was cited by one Daily Wire writer in her decision to leave the company. But Walsh doubled down, saying that he “would rather be dead” than have a trans child. And then, at the start of  April, Bud Light sent Mulvaney a can of beer with her face on it. 

Walsh, who previously made comments supportive of teenage pregnancy, has a history of spreading anti-trans vitriol. As documented by Media Matters, between mid-February and mid-March, Walsh also repeated his statement about preferring death to a trans child; misgendered and deadnamed a trans woman featured in a Hershey’s chocolate ad (in Canada); defended his colleague Michael Knowles’ call to eradicate “transgenderism … from public life entirely” by claiming to be “in a war against the most deranged ideology ever invented by the human race,” which he called a “parasite”; and called the trans community “a suicide cult.”

YouTube’s hate speech policy promises to “remove content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups” based on … “gender identity and expression” and/or “sexual orientation.” Social Blade indicates that two Walsh videos had already been demonetized in April when the Daily Wire host led a boycott against Bud Light for collaborating with Mulvaney. If Walsh’s contract contains provisions similar to those found in the contract offered to Louder with Crowder host Steven Crowder, which stated that being demonetized would lead to a 25% cut in his salary, the loss of YouTube revenue is a huge financial blow to Walsh. 

The Daily Wire+ app continues to be available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. The Apple App Store’s content guidelines lay out a prohibition on “defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary” targeting gender or sexual orientation, especially if the app or content “is likely to humiliate, intimidate, harass, or harm individuals or groups.” The Google Play terms of service similarly forbid “apps that promote violence, or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, caste, immigration status, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.” 

Walsh’s move to uploading his show to Twitter comes at a convenient time for the Daily Wire host. Twitter, which was acquired by Elon Musk in 2022, recently updated its terms of service to remove its previous prohibition on targeted misgendering and deadnaming of trans people. Musk recently launched an effort to reassure nervous Twitter advertisers and to convince those who previously abandoned the platform to return. In one recent interview, Musk claimed that Twitter was open to advertiser feedback but that “freedom of speech is paramount.”


Ari Drennen is the LGBTQ program director for Media Matters, where she has worked since January 2022. She has a bachelors degree in political science and economics from Middlebury College. Previously she worked at the Center for American Progress and the League of Conservation Voters


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

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Online Culture

Twitter policy ban on misgendering or deadnaming trans folks gone

“Social media companies committed to maintaining safety for LGBTQ people should be working to improve hate speech policies not deleting ones”



Twitter corporate headquarters in San Francisco, Calif. (Screenshot/YouTube KGO 7 ABC Bay Area)

SAN FRANCISCO – Earlier this month, Twitter covertly removed the section of the “Hateful Conduct Policy” which the social media giant first enacted in combatting targeted misgendering and deadnaming of transgender people in 2018.

Prior to the policy change, Twitter’s Hateful Content Policy stated:
“We prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” 

The final sentence, specific to transgender users, has since been removed. According to the Wayback Machine, the sentence referring to targeted misgendering and deadnaming was present on April 7th, but was stricken from the policy on April 8th.

The previous version is here, the current version is here.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded to Twitter’s rollback on Tuesday:

“Twitter’s decision to covertly roll back its longtime policy is the latest example of just how unsafe the company is for users and advertisers alike. This decision to roll back LGBTQ safety pulls Twitter even more out of step with TikTok, Pinterest, and Meta, which all maintain similar policies to protect their transgender users at a time when anti-transgender rhetoric online is leading to real world discrimination and violence.

The practice of targeted misgendering and deadnaming has been identified by the ADL and other civil society groups as a form of hate speech. Social media companies committed to maintaining safe environments for LGBTQ people should be working to improve hate speech policies, not deleting long-standing ones.”

Currently, TikTok and Pinterest explicitly prohibit targeted misgendering and deadnaming in their hate and harassment policy, while for both Facebook and Instagram, Meta has publicly stated that they “prohibit violent or dehumanizing content directed against people who identify as LGBTQ+ and remove claims about someone’s gender identity upon their request.”

In 2021, GLAAD joined Media Matters for America and 18 other organizations in calling for YouTube to also align with this as a best practice in their hate speech policy.

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TikTok to divest from Chinese parent if U.S. security deal fails

GLAAD’s annual Social Media Safety Index gave TikTok a failing score on LGBTQ+ safety, yet the app is popular, especially among LGBTQ+ youth



TikTok CEO Shou Chew (Screenshot/YouTube - know Exact)

CULVER CITY – As the battle over TikTok posing a threat to U.S. national security and Americans continues to escalate, Shou Zi Chew, the chief executive of the Los Angeles-based video-sharing app, will make his first appearance before Congress to testify next week.

In contention is that TikTok is wholly and privately owned by Chinese parent company, ByteDance, which has raised bipartisan fears in local and state governments as well as in Congress of the app being used to collect and manipulate users’ data by the Chinese government or related entities.

The controversy surrounding misinformation, addictive content, censorship, and kids’ data allegedly being accessed by the Chinese government in addition to adults has seen several state governments ban the app entirely from state-owned mobile phones, computers, and data pads.

Shou Zi Chew, a Singaporean entrepreneur, will be attempting to skeptical lawmakers on Capitol Hill that his company’s social networking company poses no dangers to Americans, especially children.

TikTok’s LGBTQ+ following has generally positive experiences although there have been widely reported instances of users, notably transgender users seemingly targeted by the platform’s algorithms and having their accounts banned or repeatedly suspended.

Of greater concern is the staggering rise in anti-LGBTQ+ violence and threats on the platform prompting LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD, in its annual Social Media Safety Index, to give TikTok a failing score on LGBTQ+ safety.

Yotam Ophir, an assistant professor of communications at the University at Buffalo, who studies misinformation and extremism, told Scientific American journalist Helen Santoro in a December 2022 interview:

“It’s become pretty clear that the LGBTQ+ community is now at the heart of the new iteration of the culture wars that we have been unfortunately going through in recent years,” he says. This community has become “a staple of right-wing messaging and often propaganda.”

Scientific American reported the false claims and rhetoric used by right-wing extremists dehumanize and vilify the LGBTQ+ community and provoke stochastic terrorism, a phenomenon in which hate speech increases the likelihood that people will attack the targets of vicious claims.

Research has also shown that this type of rhetoric can motivate people to express and possibly act on their prejudiced views

According to GLAAD, Media Matters for America, and the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI social media plays a crucial role in the spread of this stochastic terrorism to include TikTok.

TikTok to divest from ByteDance if U.S. security deal fails- Report from Yahoo Finance:


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