The most recent YouGov survey commissioned by GLAAD, a US-based NGO, revealed that social media platforms do a poor job of engaging people who are either in the transgender community or people of color provide a safe environment.
The poll was based on responses from 1,235 US respondents and was conducted this year, beginning July 7th and ending July 22nd. The results underscored the incompetence of the platforms, as women, transgender users and people of color faced high levels of cyber harassment and bullying, receiving more warnings than regular users.
57 percent of participants agreed that they had witnessed users from such groups receiving overt threats. Not only that, members of these communities also agreed that they had received harsh messages. These threats were directed either against themselves or against people they knew.
Almost 88 percent of LGBTQ+ users among the participants have told YouGov about the content being posted against them. While 52 percent of excluded respondents agreed to being bullied because of their sexual orientation, only 14 percent of grassroots respondents supported it.
38 percent of blacks said they had been harassed because of their race or skin color, while only 15 percent of white participants agreed. Twenty-five percent of female participants reported being harassed, compared to seventeen percent of male participants.
In general, 61 percent of participants considered hate speech to be a key issue, while women and LGBTQ+ participants tended to agree.
According to GLAAD Chief Executive Officer Sarah Kate, the survey results have shown how poor these platforms are at providing a safe environment for their users. Instead of taking the necessary measures to counteract this problem, the platforms are working on updating their advertising policies.
Bridget Todd, communications director at UltraViolet, said no matter how much social media sites claim to be safe for these marginalized groups, the poll results say otherwise.
Amanda Chavez, Senior Director of Women’s March believes that social media platforms can and must improve to provide a healthy environment for users, particularly the marginalized community, including LGBTQ+ members, people of color and women.
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