Social Media Safety

Here’s why GLSEN is leaving Elon Musk’s X app behind

Another organization announced their departure from X (formerly Twitter) and their reasoning may surprise you.

On Tuesday, LGBTQ+ advocacy organization GLSEN announced their hiatus from Elon Musk’s now infamous social media platform. GLSEN, who joined the app in 2008, cited the reason for no longer using the medium stemming from increasing concerns for LGBTQ+ youth using the platform.

In a press statement, GLSEN announced the decision stating, “Over the years, Twitter has played a role in connecting individuals, amplifying voices, and fostering important conversations around the world. However, recent developments and policy updates have led us to reevaluate our presence on the platform, including the recent decision to remove the policy against targeted misgendering and/or dead naming of transgender individuals.”

A recent study from LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization GLAAD showed just how X fails queer and trans people. GLAAD’s 2023 Social Media Safety Index deemed X the most unsafe social media app, mostly due to its removal of protections for trans and nonbinary users.

Additionally, research from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), an organization that monitors online hate speech and misinformation, discovered that X failed to take action against 86% of posts containing some form of hate speech. 

“Despite Twitter’s alleged commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity, we have witnessed discriminatory policies and harmful practices that continue to put LGBTQ+ youth at risk,” GLSEN added in the press release. “Cyberbullying, harassment, and the spread of harmful misinformation targeting LGBTQ+ individuals, especially youth, have escalated. The impact of this online discrimination extends to mental health, self-esteem, and, tragically, to cases of self-harm and suicide.”

For 33 years, GLSEN has committed efforts to championing LGBTQ+ issues in K-12 education, which includes creating safe and supportive LGBTQ+-inclusive schools for all students. Social media is now an extension and integral part of many communities, schools included, and X continues to create controversy due to its lack of LGBTQ+ protections and for its former CEO’s actions that perpetuate harm towards the queer and trans people. 

This year alone, he promoted a transphobic video called What Is a Woman on his personal X account, followed it with a series of transphobic posts, and even promoted a tweet that compared gender-affirming care to “mutilation.” Additionally, aside from the many transphobic things he posted, he declared the word “cis” a slur. 

Needless to say, X has increasingly become a harmful space for LGBTQ+ people, a sentiment that GLSEN shares with several LGBTQ+ organizations. The National Center for Transgender Equality, ActionLink, Equality Federation, Family Equality, PFLAG National, Lambda Legal and Out & Equal, all endorsed GLSEN’s press statement. 

Still, the door isn’t fully closed for GLSEN use of X. The organization concluded their statement inviting X “to engage in an open dialogue to address these pressing concerns and to work towards a safer online environment for all users.”

Don't forget to share:
Read More in Impact
The Latest on INTO