Over 250 celebrities have signed a letter calling on social media platforms to censor “anti-trans hate” and “malicious disinformation about trans healthcare.”
The letter was produced by the LGBTQ activist organization GLAAD and addressed to Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, YouTube CEO Neal Mohan, Shou Zi Chew of TikTok, Twitter owner Elon Musk and his new CEO Linda Yaccarino.
Signatories of the letter include Dylan Mulvaney, Amy Schumer, Camila Cabello, Busy Philipps, Cara Delevingne, Dakota Fanning, Demi Lovato, Haley Baldwin Bieber, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janelle Monáe, Judd Apatow, Lena Dunham, Marc Jacobs, Rosario Dawson, Sam Smith, and Zooey Deschanel.
“As celebrities, influencers, and prominent public figures with significant followings on social media, we the undersigned are calling on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter to fulfill the promises you’ve made to transgender, nonbinary, gender non-conforming and all LGBTQ users in your terms of service,” the letter begins. “There has been a massive systemic failure to prohibit hate, harassment, and malicious anti-LGBTQ disinformation on your platforms and it must be addressed.”
The letter claims that Libs of TikTok posting content made by Boston Children’s Hospital themselves caused them to be targeted by bomb threats.
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 11, 2022
“Dangerous posts (both content and ads) created and circulated by high-follower anti-LGBTQ hate accounts targeting transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people are thriving across your platforms, directly resulting in terrifying real-life harm including bomb threats targeting children’s hospitals that offer healthcare for trans youth, and death threats targeting care providers,” the letter states. “Such false and hate-driven widely circulated content on your platforms is even being cited by lawmakers advancing discriminatory legislation against trans people. Targeted misgendering and deadnaming of trans and nonbinary people is a widespread mode of hate speech across all platforms, utilized to bully and harass prominent public figures while simultaneously expressing hatred and contempt for trans and non-binary people in general.”
The letter claimed that “online extremists” are “leading proactive coordinated campaigns of hate and lies about gender affirming healthcare for trans youth.”
According to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, puberty blockers can cause lower bone density and “other possible long-term side effects that are not yet known.” The Mayo Clinic acknowledges that they might have long-term effects on fertility.
Lupron, the number one prescribed puberty blocker in America, lists “emotional instability” as one of the possible side effects. A warning on the label advises to “monitor for development or worsening of psychiatric symptoms during treatment.”
Despite these facts, the GLAAD letter states that “gender-affirming healthcare” is safe and necessary, even for “youth.” It claims that “inflammatory disinformation falsely asserting that this healthcare is dangerous is allowed to fester on your platforms because it drives clicks and profit. Trans youth and their families and care providers are being endangered by your negligence, causing many families to flee their homes.”
GLAAD’s letter calls on the big tech leaders to “meet with community leaders and creators” to hear about “real world harms” that result from this dangerous content and for them to devise plans to address it — meaning censorship.
Specifically, the group wants the platforms to address “content that spreads malicious lies and disinformation about medically necessary healthcare for transgender youth,” “accounts that perpetuate anti-LGBTQ extremist hate and disinformation,” “hateful attacks on prominent transgender public figures and influencers,” and “anti-transgender hate speech, including targeted misgendering, deadnaming, and hate-driven tropes.”
The letter takes explicit offense to the word “groomer” used to describe people demanding that children have access to highly sexualized content.
Following the list of demands for censorship, the organization said, “we know that leading national organizations, including GLAAD, HRC, Media Matters for America, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, ADL, and others, share research and guidance with your companies and escalate violative content. And yet your mitigations remain woefully inadequate. The very content you profit from is in violation of your own terms of service, which assert that you do not allow hate speech.”
“True allies do not profit from anti-LGBTQ hate,” the letter concluded. “We speak together with one voice to demand that your companies create and enforce stronger content and ad policies to directly confront the content that is causing online and offline harm to transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.”