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New report looks at social media's role in amplifying LGBTQ+ hate

A new  report looks at the growing number of anti-LGBTQ social media posts in recent months. Much of this homophobic rhetoric is coming from politicians across the country. 

In the months following the passage of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, the number of quote, “grooming” related social media posts increased by more than 400%. That’s according to a new report by the Human Rights Campaign and the Center for Countering Digital Hate. Justin Unga is with the Human Rights Campaign. 

"The dangerous anti LGBTQ-plus rancor that is being spun up by radicals like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kari Lake, in some examples, is just for pure politics," he said.

And posts from Greene and others, including Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, reached more than 48 million views.

"They are inflaming the most extreme elements of their fan base, to gain notoriety to build a brand that they see as politically and financially profitable," Unga said. 

Unga said this kind of content, and the use of anti-gay or trans slurs on social media, has gone mostly unchecked. 

"So the onus is on elected officials to stop. Just altogether stop attacking their own constituents on social media. And on the other side is social media should not be used as a limitless platform to amplify hate," Unga said. 

For example, says Unga, Twitter failed to act on 99% of the 100 “most-viewed hateful” tweets reported by the Center for Digital Hate.

Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.