Marginalized groups are facing more harassment on social media platforms than non-marginalized groups

YouGov's latest survey on behalf of GLAAD, a US-based NGO, has shown that social media platforms are doing a bad job at providing a safe environment to people either belonging to the transgender community or people of color.

The survey was based on the responses collected from 1,235 participants from the U.S. and was conducted this year, starting on July 7th and ending on July 22nd. The results highlighted the incompetency of the platforms, as women, transgender users, and people of color faced a high level of cyber harassment and bullying and received more warnings than general users.

57 percent of the participants agreed that they witnessed users from such groups receiving open threats. Not only this, but people belonging to these communities also agreed that they had been receiving harsh messages. These threats were either directed at them or towards the people they know.

Almost 88 percent of the LGBTQ+ users among the participants told YouGov about the content that gets posted against them. While 52 percent of the marginalised respondents agreed with being bullied because of their sexual orientation, only fourteen percent of the base group respondents supported them.

For people of colour, 38 percent said they were harassed based on their race and color, whereas only 15 percent of the white participants agreed with this. Twenty-five percent of the female participants talked about getting harassed, compared to seventeen percent of the male participants.

In general, 61 percent of the participants believed hate speech to be a key issue, while women and LGBTQ+ participants agreed more with the statement.

According to Sarah Kate, Chief Executive Officer of GLAAD, the survey results have shown how bad these platforms are at providing a safe environment for their users. Instead of taking the necessary actions to counter this issue, the platforms are working on updating their advertising policies.

Bridget Todd, communication director at UltraViolet, said that no matter how much social media sites claim to be safe for these marginalised groups, the survey results say otherwise.

Amanda Chavez, Women’s March senior director, believes that social media platforms can and must do better to provide a healthy environment to users, especially to the marginalised community, including LGBTQ+ members, people of color, and women.

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