Leading LGBTQIA+ rights organisation, GLAAD, has announced its plans to rate social media platforms based on how well they protect people from abuse.
Via a statement posted to its website last week, GLAAD outlined its Social Media Safety Index, which it says is a first of its kind rating, on how safe a social platform is for LGBTQIA+ users.
“Social media is a lifeline for LGBTQ people, but too often we face real harm that goes unchecked by the platforms,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in an interview with Axios.
“LGBTQ policies and product updates have long been low on priority lists, even as the tech industry is finally waking up to the issues that marginalized communities face on their platforms. Drawing on GLAAD’s proven track record of leveraging similar reports and programs to advance LGBTQ inclusion in Hollywood, our Social Media Safety Index will hold social media platforms accountable and provide a roadmap for creating safer and more inclusive online spaces,” Ellis said.
The index will launch in coming months and will be supported by Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the Gill Foundation. The Social Media Safety Index will also be a collaboration between leading tech experts in the form of an advisory committee.
GLAAD’s annual Where We Are on TV Report and the Studio Responsibility Index are known for holding TV networks, streaming platforms, and film studios accountable and have directly resulted in new inclusive series and films.
GLAAD is expanding this work to similarly hold social media platforms accountable and provide a roadmap to improve LGBTQIA+ user experience. In its statement, GLAAD said the Social Media Safety Index will shine a spotlight on the issue of online safety for LGBTQIA+ people and serve as a valuable catalyst for accountability and change — analysing current content and advertising policies as well as documenting misinformation, hate speech, privacy, and other issues that LGBTQIA+ people uniquely face.