LGBTQ+ Youth Demand Safer Social Media Platforms
LGBTQ+ Youth Turn Hashtags Into A Rallying Cry Through A New Campaign Calling For Safer Online Spaces
LGBTQ+ youth are calling on social media users to play a role in creating safer online spaces as part of a campaign by the national LGBTQ+ youth organisation, Belong To.
‘It’s Our Social Media’ emphasises that social media is powered by the user and that online experiences can be shaped by acting on two simple slogans #FeedTheGood and #BlockTheBad.
Devised and created by young people, the digital campaign gives youth voices a platform to demand change. The campaign also calls on the Government to amend the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill to include an individual complaints mechanism. This would mean that users would have a proper process to bring a complaint against social media platforms about harmful content and make sure that it’s dealt with properly.
International research shows that LGBTQ+ youth are often targets of online bullying and experience higher levels of cyberbullying than their non-LGBTQ+ friends.1, 2 Leading LGBTQ+ media group GLAAD deemed the entire sector of social media platforms unsafe for LGBTQ+ users3.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, CEO of Belong To, Moninne Griffith (she/her), said: Online platforms are places we can connect, express ourselves, learn and explore. But we know sometimes they can also turn nasty. There’s a lot of hate online, and much of this is directed towards members of the LGBTQ+ community. We need to remember that social media is powered by us – the users. If it’s toxic, we can help change it. We can shape it for the better.
It’s not solely the user who can make these changes. Better regulation can hold social media companies to account and make a big difference to our experience online. That’s why we are calling on the Government to amend the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill.
Young people are a powerful force for change in Ireland and we are so grateful to those who shared their experiences and expertise to create this campaign with us. Together, we can change the narrative and take back social media”
This campaign was created with support from Google.org.
Notes to Editors
- BeLonG To CEO, Moninne Griffith is available for interview. To arrange an interview, please contact: Sinead Keane, Communications Manager. Mobile: 087 768 0389 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Photos will be distributed to your picture desk by Maxwell Photography following the event on March X.
01 830 email@example.com
- BeLong To is the national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) young people in Ireland. Since 2003, BeLonG To has worked with LGBTQ+ youth to create a world where they are equal, safe, and valued in the diversity of their identities and experiences. The organisation advocates and campaigns on behalf of young LGBTQ+ people and offers a specialised LGBTQ+ youth service including crisis counselling with Pieta, information, and the provision of LGBTQ+ youth groups across Ireland. BeLonG To supports educators and professionals working with LGBTQ+ youth.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019. Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Available from: cdc.gov/YRBSS.
- ADL, Online Hate and Harassment Report: The American Experience 2021
- Social Media Safety Index (2020) GLAAD Available from: https://www.glaad.org/smsi