has real consequences
The Internet can provide incredible opportunities to learn, connect and have fun. However, LGBTQ+ people are still targeted on digital platforms and this violence, rarely taken seriously, has real harmful impacts on people.
Because cyberhomophobia and cybertransphobia occur online, the bullies don’t see the pain they cause, and, as a result, it’s easy for them to continue or even step up their attacks, which they perhaps would not do if the person was in front of them. Insults, taunts and threats made to faceless avatars, hurt real people.
Hate speech is a form of discourse, often found on social media, which attacks a community or a member of a community based on certain characteristics such as sexual orientation or gender identity. Hate speech takes its roots in negative stereotypes about a community and results in:
Hurting (e.g. insults);
Causing fear (e.g. threats);
Dehumanizing (e.g. comparing to animals or an illness);
Isolating (presenting the group considered “abnormal” as being fundamentally different and inferior from the majority).
Cyberbullying occurs “when people use computers, cellphones or other devices to embarrass, humiliate, torment, threaten or harass someone else “(Public Safety Canada).
of LGBTQ + people say they have been personally attacked or harassed online. (VpnMentor).
Women in LBTQ+ communities are generally at higher risk for sexual harassment. Bisexual and lesbian women often receive requests for sexual favors (eg : threesomes) that can be dehumanizing and harassing. Asexual people are often targeted by people who want to "convince" or "convert" them to sexuality. Finally trans people (and especially trans women) are often the object of fetishization and unhealthy curiosity.
People who have not come out to everyone around them can be blackmailed or targeted by ill-intended people. Transgender women are the most likely to have their identities exposed online against their will. In any case, the disclosure of an LGBTQ+ identity (against the person's will) can potentially result in the receipt of hate messages, create hostile family dynamics, damage a career, or even put the person in danger. Remember that in the majority of the world, discrimination related to sexual orientation and gender identity is still legal, and in many countries, homosexuality is still criminalized. (See our 2018 campaign)
If you see violent content (hate speech, threats, etc.) report the content or its author to the platform.
File a complaint
If you do not want to be contacted by someone anymore, because they bother you or make you feel unsafe, do not hesitate to block them.
If you are a page admin, you can hide or delete comments that do not comply the values of your page.
If you receive threatening messages, or if you are harassed, you can file a complaint.
No one should be responsible for educating others about LGBTQ+ issues in their free time, especially when this involves getting insulted. However, responding can change people's minds, especially for stand-byers or people who are more ignorant than malevolent.
PRIDE FLAGGING est un projet collaboratif visant à enrayer la cyberhomophobie et la cybertransphobie. Activez l’extension pour navigateur sur Twitter pour identifier automatiquement les commentaires haineux et simplifier le processus de signalement.
Interligne is a first response centre that provides help and information to those concerned with sexual orientation and gender diversity.
A report with statistics but also tips to stay safe on the Internet. Available in over 25 languages.