TikTok Bans Anti-LGBTQ Content Including Misgendering & Deadnaming Trans People
TikTok has updated its community guidelines with new restrictions meant to ban certain forms of anti-LGBTQ speech.
The updates were intended for “adding clarity on the types of hateful ideologies prohibited on our platform, according to the new guidelines. Deadnaming, or using the pre-transition name of a trans person, was banned from the platform, along with misgendering, or using someone’s incorrect pronouns.
TikTok will also prohibit any content “that supports or promotes conversion therapy programs,” which is a pseudoscientific practice related to attempting to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity to be non-LGBTQ.
The app has also recently added a feature that allows TikTok users to display their pronouns more prominently on their accounts.
LGBTQ advocacy groups have been working tirelessly lately to improve social media company’s policies, and are finally being heard. GLAAD, a media advocacy nonprofit centered on LGBTQ issues, criticized TikTok and many other social media platforms for continuing to be more unsafe for LGBTQ users.
GLAAD released a document called the Social Media Safety Index last year, which included specific recommendations for the largest social platforms including TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, on how they could be doing more to protect LGBTQ users.
Along with general recommendations given to all platforms, GLAAD suggested specifically that TikTok needs significantly more human moderators to process harassment complaints, and determine which ones are real and which are falsely being used to de-platform legitimate LGBTQ voices on the app.
They also criticized the notification a user receives when reporting hate speech on TikTok, saying that it doesn’t adequately summarize prohibited language and does not instill confidence that moderators are adhering to full community guidelines when evaluating claims.
In response to these new developments, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said, “TikTok’s move to expressly prohibit this harmful content in its Community guidelines and to adopt recommendations made in GLAAD’s 2021 Social Media Safety Index raises the standard for LGBTQ safety online and sends a message that other platforms which claim to prioritize LGBTQ safety should follow suit with substantive actions like these.”