Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office quits Twitter amid barrage of ‘violent’ homophobic attacks

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said on Thursday it quit Twitter due to a barrage of ‘violent’ homophobic attacks that were not taken down by the social media platform even after they were reported. .

The account, which was called @LADAOffice, no longer exists on Twitter.

“Our decision to archive our Twitter account was not easy,” the office said in a statement. Pride Parade.”

He said his Pride Parade post was met with “a barrage of vicious and offensive comments that have deeply troubled us”.

The comments ranged from “homophobic and transphobic slurs to sexually explicit and graphic images,” the office said, adding that they remained visible in account replies more than 24 hours after being flagged to Twitter.

Twitter, whose new CEO Linda Yaccarino kicked off on Monday, did not respond to a message for comment. Attacks on LGBTQ+ users have increased dramatically since Elon Musk took over the company last fall, according to multiple advocacy groups.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate, for example, recently identified 1.7 million tweets and retweets since the start of 2022 that mention the LGBTQ+ community via a keyword such as “LGBT”, “gay”, “homosexual” or “trans” alongside slurs such as “groomer”, “predator” and “pedophile”. In 2022, in the months before Musk took office, there were an average of 3,011 such tweets per day, which jumped 119% to 6,596 in the four months after he took office. control last October.

A big part of the reason is the drastic staff reductions Musk has enacted since taking over – there simply aren’t enough content moderators to handle the flood of problematic tweets ranging from hate speech to graphic material and harassment. Musk has also described himself as a “free speech absolutist” who thinks Twitter’s previous policies were too restrictive.

In April, for example, Twitter quietly removed a policy against “targeted gender errors or dead names of transgender people,” raising concerns that the platform could become less safe for marginalized groups. Musk has also repeatedly engaged with far-right figures and fed misinformation to his 143 million followers.

Last week, Ella Irwin, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, resigned after Musk criticized Twitter’s handling of tweets about a conservative media company’s documentary that questioned the medical treatment of children. and transgender adolescents. Musk tweeted the video, which has been criticized as transphobic, to his followers with the message, “All parents should watch this.”

All major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, have opposed the ban on gender-affirming care and supported medical care for young people when administered appropriately. Lawsuits have been filed in several states where bans were enacted this year.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said Thursday that he would remain active on other mainstream social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok, but said, referring to Twitter, that he ” will not be complicit in and use a platform that promotes such hateful rhetoric.” .”

Leave a Comment