Though Facebook faintly gestures in the direction of discouraging transphobia on its platform, a new study has found that anti-trans content outperformed pro-trans or neutral content by a wide margin.
In a study of 225 viral social media posts, Media Matters for America found that 66 percent of interactions—including likes, comments and shares—came from far-right sources like LifeSiteNews, Daily Wire and Daily Caller, NBC News reports. These sites are known to promote a hateful view of trans people, and the study confirms that a frightening number of people are eating it up.
“Facebook users are getting a totally biased and factually inaccurate understanding of the multitude of issues that impact trans people,” Brennan Suen, Media Matters’ LGBTQ program director and one of the study’s authors, told NBC.
“Transphobic discourse online contributes to this dangerous rejection of trans children, real world harassment of trans people and harmful policies—and it contributes to a social and political culture that continues to demonize and fail the trans community,” Suen said.
Trans activist and writer Raquel Willis said she found the findings unsurprising.
“Narratives that further our demonization, that further confusion, are still the ones that often carry the most weight in our society,” Willis said. “Blood is on the hands of the Mark Zuckerbergs and the people who don’t want to hold these platforms to a humane standard.”
Human Rights Campaign reports that 21 trans people have been murdered in 2020 so far, which very nearly matches the number of trans murders that occurred in all of 2019.