Anti-LGBTQ slurs have increased on Twitter since Elon Musk took over as CEO, despite his claims and actions to the contrary, including disbanding Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, a new report has shown.
According to Media Matters for America and GLAAD, the retweets of tweets by right-wing figures include the anti-LGBTQ “groomer” slur, as tweets containing the slur mention right-wing figures.
The researchers looked at nine popular right-wing accounts which include Tim Pool, Jack Posobiec, Jake Shield, Gays Against Groomers, Blaire White, Allie Beth Stuckey, Andy Ngo, Seth Dillon, and Mike Cernovich to chart their use of the anti-LGBTQ slur “groomer”.
Overall, these accounts saw a 1,200 percent uptick in tweets or retweets that used the slur, an increase of 3,600 instances to 48,000.
Libs of TikTok, another right-wing account, experienced a 600 percent increase in mentions, ranging from nearly 2,000 to nearly 14,000, while Rep. Mayra Flores (R-TX) saw a nearly 6,000 percent increase, from nearly 70 mentions to over 4,000, according to the report.
Moreover, a prominent LGBTQ account that appears in tweets with the “groomer” slur has seen a 225,000 percent increase in mentions after Musk acquired the platform, the report added.
Musk officially acquired Twitter on October 27 and reassured advertisers and civil rights leaders that the social media platform wouldn’t become a “free-for-all hellscape” and would “continue to combat hate & harassment”.
While Musk provided these assurances, he quickly reinstated previously banned accounts, including those of high-profile right-wing users like former President Donald Trump.
Furthermore, Musk has also reinstated two accounts that violated the platform’s hateful content rules, including those belonging to anti-LGBTQ figure “James Lindsay” and right-wing satire site “Babylon Bee”, said the report.
Earlier this month, a new report claimed that hate speech soared on Twitter after Musk took over.
According to research by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, an average of 1,282 tweets with slurs against Black people appeared daily on Twitter before Musk took over and that number jumped to 3,876 after he acquired the company.