Fear of more violence in US as anti-LGBTQ hate thrives online

WASHINTON: In the days following the deaths of five people in a gay disco in Colorado last month, much of social media lit up with the now familiar expressions of grief, mourning and disbelief.
But on some message boards and online platforms, the tone was festive. “I love waking up to good news,” wrote one user on Gab, a platform popular with far-right groups. Other users of the site called for more violence.
Hatred is not limited to fringe sites. At TwitterYouTube and Facebookresearchers and LGBTQ advocates found an increase in hate speech and threats of violence against LGBTQ people, groups and events, much of it against transgender people.
The content comes after conservative lawmakers in several states introduced dozens of anti-LGBTQ laws and amid a wave of threats targeting LGBTQ groupsas well as the hospitals, healthcare workers, libraries and private businesses that support them.
“I don’t think people understand the state of danger we’re living in right now,” said Jay Brown, senior vice president of the Human Rights Campaign and a transgender man. Hospitals in Boston, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Washington, DC and other cities have received bomb threats and other harassing messages after misleading claims about transgender care programs spread online.


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