Our vision is a society where LGBTQ+ young people are equal, safe and thriving. This includes both offline and online spaces.
At Belong To, we feel the platform Twitter/X is currently not a safe, healthy or inclusive environment to engage and interact with our followers, including LGBTQ+ young people.
Throughout the past 12-months, we have experienced ongoing harassment, graphic and hateful commentary and witnessed the spread of misinformation about LGBTQ+ lives.
For this reason, we have made the decision to close our Twitter/X account from October 2023.
Earlier this year, Belong To released findings relating to the experiences of LGBTQ+ young people living in Ireland and their social media use1. A shocking 87% of LGBTQ+ youth had seen or experienced anti-LGBTQ+ hate and harassment on social media in the past year. Among young people who reported this content, only 21% saw action from the relevant social media platform; anti-LGBTQ+ content was removed in 12% of cases, 4% saw the offending user temporarily suspended, and 5% of reports resulted in the offending account being band. The remaining 79% of LGBTQ+ young people were either informed that no violation of community guidelines was found or received no response from the platform.
Online safety is a priority for Belong To, and we are continuing our policy work to ensure that all online spaces, including social media platforms, are places where members of the LGBTQ+ community can share, connect and learn in a safe and respectful way.
Our submission to Ireland’s first ever binding Online Safety Code is available here on our website, and we look forward to continuing our engagement with Ireland’s new online safety commission, Coimisiún na Meán, to meet our shared goal of ensuring the safety of all online users, in particular children and young people.
We will remain active on our other social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn.
We hope you will join us on these platforms as we continue our work in championing the voices of LGBTQ+ young people and creating safes spaces.
1 Pizmony-Levy, O. (2022) The 2022 Irish School Climate Survey. Research Report. Global Observatory of LGBTQ+ Education and Advocacy. Dublin and New York: Belong To and Teachers College, Columbia University. Available here.
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