Twitter failed to curb monkeypox hate speech aimed at LGBTQ community, says study

Twitter failed to curb monkeypox hate speech aimed at LGBTQ community, says study

People spreading online hate against the LGBTQ community often use the word "groomer" as a slur against non-binary and trans people.

A study has revealed that following the outbreak of monkeypox virus in May, several online discussions linking the virus to the LGBTQ community took place. Twitter has now been slammed for failing to tackle this hate speech and misinformation around the virus. The study conducted by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) says that a lot of people used the virus and the platform to spread online hate about the LGBTQ community.

According to the research done by the ISD, anti-LGBTQ comments were used to specifically demonise gay men on Twitter and to spread false information about them being the source of the outbreak. Certain conspiracists have suggested that the two US children who got infected, contracted the infection through sexual interactions with men. Such statements have led to disinformation that gay men were a danger to kids who want to turn them queer.

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People spreading online hate against the LGBTQ community often use the word "groomer" as a slur against non-binary and trans people. Even though Twitter has banned the use of the word in this context, people are still using modified forms of the word.

"Twitter is still hosting some of the vilest accounts that are propagating these ideas,” Aoife Gallagher, an analyst at the ISD, told Euronews.

Monkeypox isn't considered a sexually-transmitted disease since it basically spreads through droplets via respiratory tracts, and the belongings of an infected person.

The United Nations’ Aids agency has already denounced some reporting on the monkeypox virus as racist and homophobic, warning that it could lead to stigma. There was also news of a reported hate crime in Washington, US, where some people hurled a gay slur and punched two men while referencing monkeypox.

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