Metro Weekly

The Owners of Social Media Platforms Don’t Care About LGBTQ Safety

If social media is unsafe for the LGBTQ community, let's start our own.

There are many things in life that are rights. The basics that started our country, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are a good start, and then there are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, that explore things like freedom of speech, religion, and such. We have yet to get those rights, well, right but we’re working on it.

Nowhere, in any founding document that I can find, does it say you have the right to use social media, participate in social media or be safe from harm on social media. So a new report from GLAAD, their Social Media Safety Index, says that Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, and Twitter don’t do enough to keep their users safe, particularly their LGBTQ users. For the record, neither does any public place in America, thus, we are getting shot and killed in record numbers, but that’s another topic.

I left Facebook years back, when the owner, Mark Zuckerberg, allowed misinformation about the election to be spread, enabled MAGA and Donald Trump, and allowed LGBTQ bullying without much repercussion. It was spreading hatred, racism, homophobia, COVID disinformation, election disinformation, and it was doing it with glee. So, I left.

I left Twitter when Elon Musk took over and began to do the same. Now, this wasn’t easy for me. I produce a talk show and write, and these things basically require social media. In fact, in today’s entertainment world, you can’t get a show signed, a record distributed, or a hosting gig unless you have a mass social media following. I do not. I restarted Twitter for the show and for my new website

But just one day back on Twitter and all the LGBTQ hatred was present, prevalent, and unchallenged. It wasn’t being taken down, it was being enabled and amplified. So I don’t go on Twitter. I post to my five followers (I lost them all when I quit and now have to start over) through another application called Socialpilot.

I use Instagram — I know that is Meta, and I don’t like it. But it is the platform with the least hatred, disinformation, and mayhem. But that’s my choice. I don’t TikTok. China owns it and they share our information no matter what they say to Congress. It is a security threat, and many countries agree with me.

I don’t expect any of them to protect me or keep me safe. Because I don’t have to use them. If I don’t like the hatred, if I don’t like the content, just like TV or music, I don’t have to hear or see it. I simply don’t have to log on. And yes, I pay the price in my business, but it’s a small one compared to how social media was making me feel.

And you don’t have to be a part, either. Our phones will text, call, email — you are free to contact as many people as you want. Websites are easier than ever to set up, your own domains, and you are free to start a blog, message board, video blog, whatever you like outside of social media. And you can have message boards of your own, a social media type site if you like.

And LGBTQ tech people are free to start a Twitter-type messaging app with tighter controls, or one made for the LGBTQ community. Trump started Truth Social. It can be done. Oxwall is a platform where anyone can make and host a Facebook-style site, where users can sign in, and post, just like Facebook. And it can be tightly moderated.

So why is it social media’s place to keep us safe? I know not to walk into a MAGA bar in the South. As a motorcyclist, there are places I have traveled to with biker friends where I knew I wasn’t that safe, and I could have chosen to not go in. My choice. It wasn’t the bar’s responsibility to keep me safe. It was my choice to exercise discretion.

Social media is your choice. It’s your choice to participate. Your choice to post, read posts, comment, respond to comments. Yes, it’s not a safe place for minorities, LGBTQ community, and in my humble opinion, it should be shut down. They are media companies — networks — and no network could function the way they do, even Fox News or Newsmaxx for long.

But they have their little rule, Section 230, that says the distributor of the content isn’t responsible for the content. A nice rule, that you or others could rally to be repealed. Once it is, and they are liable for things they post, it would all end. But most using social media don’t even know of Section 230. And there are billionaires protecting it from being repealed.

Yes, social media is evil. Yes, it’s dangerous for the LGBTQ community. But it’s like Jaws. I saw it at the theater in the ’70s. And it terrified me about shark attacks. Do you know how I’ve avoided them? By not going into the ocean. If you don’t want to be eaten by alligators, don’t go in the bayou. Is it up to the Everglades to keep you safe from the alligators? No. It’s a risk one takes for walking in the Everglades. Sharks are in the ocean. The city where the beaches are can’t guarantee that you are not going to be attacked. You accept the risk or buy a pool.

The same goes for the gay community and social media. It’s not safe. It’s harmful to the psyche. It can bring danger. So don’t go in the water. Create your own community in a new social media outlet. Create your own website. Your own app. Create your own community. Create your own tribe, you don’t have to be a part of the Twitter, Facebook, or TikTok tribes.

Sure it’s what all the cool kids are doing. But some of them are cruel. And the owners don’t care about your safety, or even the country’s elections; they don’t care about hatred and division, they thrive upon and profit from it. They don’t care about the harm they cause to kids, to the LGBTQ community, to others, it doesn’t affect their bottom line. Why? Because you keep logging on.

Social Media is not your right. Elon Musk doesn’t have to protect you. None of them do. Not while there’s Section 230.

Get it repealed, or stay out of their water and create your own inclusive, diverse, safe space. But stop acting like you’re entitled to Tweet, to TikTok, or to Facebook. Stop pretending it’s your God-given right to be an Instagram model. And stop acting like MAGA and anti-LGBTQ people are going away or can be controlled. Until there is a financial price for the owners of social media to pay for letting the community be attacked, for betraying the country, for suborning treason among other crimes, they will not only continue to do it, but exploit it.

You don’t have to play in that sandbox. If there’s quicksand in it, it’s your fault if you get caught and sucked down. Stay out. It’s not safe. The owner of the social media swamp is not in the business of keeping you safe. They’re in the business of business. And protecting you is none of theirs. It’s yours.

Charles Karel Bouley is a broadcaster, entertainer, and writer. His podcast, The Karel Cast, is heard three times weekly on all streaming services and at Visit for more.

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