The internet is known for some very virulent and often very horrific statements regarding people, especially LGBT people. Yahoo has had some big problems with removing violently homophobic comments posted on their Y! Music ‘Reality Rocks’ blog, and GLAAD has stepped in to try and help them address what is a gross violation of Yahoo’s own Terms of Service.
The posted comments came in response to an interview that the blog did with Adam Lambert. GLAAD reports that “Some comments promoted anti-gay violence and even encouraged suicide. Among the most egregious of responses was: ‘It would make my day if someone was to do to [Lambert] what those men did to Matthew Shepard.’ Shepard was the 21-year-old University of Wyoming student who was brutally beaten and left for dead on the outskirts of Laramie, WY in 1998.”
GLAAD alerted Yahoo to the problem, and they quickly suspended the comments on the stream. It can often be difficult for a large organization like Yahoo or Blizzard or BioWare to monitor all of the comment streams and remove all of the hatefully violent ones that are out there.
Allison Palmer, GLAAD’s Director of Digital Initiatives, stated “Young music fans should be able to interact and comment on sites without seeing violent, hateful comments directed at LGBT people. Yahoo! did the right thing by taking immediate action to enforce their Terms of Service, setting an important example for other leading websites and tech companies.”
Yahoo issued its own statement saying that the company “does not allow content that promotes hatred against users or groups of users. Protected categories include, but are not limited to race, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Yahoo! takes issues like this very seriously. We provide methods for users to report content that they believe to be abusive. Yahoo! reviews these reports and takes appropriate action according to our Terms of Service.”
GLAAD wraps up by saying:
Both Yahoo! and GLAAD urge users to report violent, hateful comments to site administrators.
In 2010, GLAAD started similar work with Facebook and helped create the “Network of Support,” an educational initiative that works to put an end to anti-LGBT cyberbullying, which includes other LGBT and youth organizations.