One of the most prominent LGBTQ organizations in the U.S. will close its account on X, formerly Twitter.
The Trevor Project announced Thursday that it has decided to end its presence on the platform in light of “increasing hate and vitriol” targeting the queer community on X, which Elon Musk purchased one year ago. The organization is focused on suicide prevention and provides 24/7 counseling for young LGBTQ people struggling with mental health challenges.
The group noted that X’s diminished commitment to moderation informed the decision, contributing to an environment that is “no longer a safe place for LGBTQ young people — the group we exist to serve.”
“While the conversation around the benefits and harms of social media platforms is vast and nuanced, we do know that sophisticated moderation tools are essential to protecting marginalized communities and creating safer, more accepting online spaces,” a Trevor Project spokesperson told TechCrunch.
“The stakes are just too high: 41% of LGBTQ young people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year–and young people who are transgender, nonbinary, and/or people of color reported higher rates than their peers.”
The Trevor Project notes that online hate has a direct, real-world negative impact on the mental health of LGBTQ young people, which it studies extensively. In making its decision to shutter its presence on X, the mental health nonprofit grappled with how its absence might allow hate to further flourish but ultimately decided against ongoing support for the platform.
“Upon deep analysis, we’ve concluded that suspending our account is the right thing to do,” the Trevor Project wrote in its announcement.
The organization also observed how the “hundreds” of pieces of state legislation targeting the LGBTQ community — particularly transgender and nonbinary young people — are a sign of an increasingly hostile political environment. The result of that discourse across politics and social media platforms “can send the message that LGBTQ people are not deserving of love or respect.”
The Trevor Project will continue to maintain its presence on all other mainstream social networks, including Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.
In the year since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the platform now known as X has rolled back many moderation policies, including ones explicitly designed to protect LGBTQ people. In April of this year, X removed its prohibition against deadnaming and misgendering transgender people (using the incorrect name or gender as a form of harassment).
TechCrunch previously reported that the policy change was expected, given Musk’s personal views about the transgender community and his public support for anti-transgender figures like Jordan Peterson. Musk’s personal views have reshaped X’s content moderation policies from his earliest days at the social network’s helm.
“The word ‘cis’ is a heterosexual slur,” Musk tweeted in late October. The term “cisgender” is commonly employed to mean “not transgender,” using a Latin prefix to classify people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.
The Trevor Project directly connects its decision to leave to X’s recently reduced content moderation policies.
“No online space is perfect, but having access to sufficient moderation capabilities is essential to maintaining a safer space for our community,” the organization wrote.
The Trevor Project, one of the most prominent LGBTQ organizations in the U.S., has announced that it will close its account on X, formerly known as Twitter. The decision was made due to the increasing hate and vitriol targeting the queer community on the platform, which was purchased by Elon Musk one year ago. The Trevor Project focuses on suicide prevention and provides counseling for young LGBTQ individuals struggling with mental health challenges. The organization cited X’s diminished commitment to moderation as a contributing factor to the decision, stating that the platform is no longer a safe place for LGBTQ young people. The Trevor Project believes that sophisticated moderation tools are essential for protecting marginalized communities and creating safer online spaces. Online hate has a direct negative impact on the mental health of LGBTQ young people, and the organization studied this extensively before deciding to end its presence on X. The Trevor Project also highlighted the hostile political environment and the numerous pieces of legislation targeting the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender and nonbinary young people, as additional reasons for its departure. Despite leaving X, the organization will maintain its presence on other social networks such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. In the year since Elon Musk took over Twitter, now called X, the platform has rolled back many moderation policies, including those designed to protect LGBTQ individuals. This policy change was expected due to Musk’s personal views and public support for anti-transgender figures. The Trevor Project directly links its decision to leave to X’s reduced content moderation policies and emphasizes the importance of having sufficient moderation capabilities to maintain a safer space for the LGBTQ community.