August 25, 2022 | Euronews

LGBTQ+ monkeypox hate speech spreads on Twitter

Our recent Dispatch about how monkeypox conversations on Twitter were being used to further the spread of anti-LGBTQ hate, and particularly ‘groomer’ rhetoric, is the base of this article for Euronews. Study author, Aoife Gallagher, found how conspiratorial communities were quick to claim that this was all part of the next stage of the “plandemic”. Furthermore, conspiracists openly linked the disease to the queer community on the base that they have been hardest hit since the outbreak began in May. Far-right political figures like US Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene have used Twitter to attempt to plant doubt on if the LGBTQ+ community had anything to do with recent cases among children.

“Twitter is still hosting some of the vilest accounts that are propagating these ideas”, Aoife told Euronews. “It really highlighted that in a space of a few days, the platform became overrun with a hate riddle public health campaign used against the queer community”.

As governments attempt to adjust their wording as to not stigmatize LGBTQ+ people, Aoife says platforms need to be more proactive in doing more.

“Their statements are hot air”, she said. “It shows that Twitter doesn’t understand how these campaigns work. It also shows that as much as they say they’re doing their best, I don’t think they are”.

“We call for policies that are fit for purpose and enforcement of these policies so that they will make a difference for the people that are using these platforms”.