OPINION: The arrival of Threads could kill LGBTQ+ free speech

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07/18/2023

When I read Mark Zuckerberg’s long-term vision for Threads, I became increasingly concerned about the future of sexual free speech. Thanks to its close integration with Instagram, the platform is well-positioned to take advantage of the slow-motion train wreck of Twitter. This means, eventually, Meta will own the vast majority of social media space. Why is this worrisome? Because when Meta owns content, Meta owns moderation. Meta will become the de facto arbitrator of what voices will and won’t be heard across the web – and it is already letting LGBTQ+ people down. The promise of social media has always been to give everyone space to be heard. But the reality is, if you are “non-traditional” – LGBTQ+, non-binary, or ethically non-monogamous – social media platforms, including Meta’s Instagram, will routinely censor and remove your content. According to GLAAD’s Social Media Safety Index, all the major platforms, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok, currently “disproportionately suppress LGBTQ+ content, including via removal, demonetisation, and forms of shadowbanning.”

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