Reddit will now enforce its hate speech policy on content that utilizes ‘groomer’ as a slur towards LGBTQ+ users.
The welcome move has sparked anger amongst far-right folk who feel it’s completely acceptable to label innocent LGBTQ+ people as ‘groomers’, while everyone else is now wondering if/ when Twitter might do the same.
In 2022 we have, thanks to Republican politicians and anti-LGBTQ+ public figures on social media, seen a sharp rise in people inaccurately applying the term ‘groomer’ to queer folk who are clearly not ‘groomers’ as the word is defined, with an intent to discriminate and cause harm.
Religious groups and politicians using ‘groomer’ (short for ‘child groomer’) – meaning to psychologically brainwash children with the objective abusing them, usually sexually – is no new thing. In the 70s it was used against gay men as a way to fearmonger prejudice and demonize gay folk as predatory or unsafe, particularly around children.
Conflating being LGBTQ+ with being a paedophile or child groomer is not only thoroughly untrue, it’s also inhuman and dangerous, with potentially life-threatening consequences for the groups it is levelled towards.
Journalist Alejandra Caraballo shared in a tweet (July 15) that Reddit will now “enforce their hate speech policy on content that utilizes the groomer libel”, which means that posts containing the slur will violate Reddit’s policy and risk being removed.
“ Your move, @TwitterSafety”, Caraballo then added.
Reddit will now enforce their hate speech policy on content that utilizes the groomer libel. Content that equates LGBTQ people to groomers and pedophiles will violate the hate speech policy. Reddit is now more proactive than Twitter. Your move @TwitterSafety. pic.twitter.com/GhGuBF1KjK
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) July 15, 2022
Recently, as a slew of anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been passed in the US and UK, incidents of words like ‘groomer’ and ‘paedophile’ being indiscriminately swung at anyone identifying as LGBTQ+ has become a daily occurrence in some social media spaces, with Twitter being the worst offender.
As such, many welcomed the move and echoed Caraballo’s tweet, asking Twitter (where the far-right LOVE calling queer folk ‘groomers’ without repercussions) to follow suit and increase its protections for LGBTQ+ users on the platform.
In February, Tiktok updated its guidelines in a bid to protect LGBTQ+ users, which included a ban on deadnaming transgender people, along with banning any content that supports or promotes the practice of conversion therapy, a move they said at the time was “adding clarity on the types of hateful ideologies prohibited on our platform”.
In contrast, on Twitter last week Jordan Peterson was able to deadname Elliot Page with minimal consequences and it’s generally understood that unpoliced transphobia is rife across the across the platform.
Top tier move by Reddit.
Twitter needs to follow suit. The “groomer” slur against lgbtq people has got to stop.
Deplatform Libs of TikTok. https://t.co/74PlxQ4aN1
— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) July 15, 2022
While the move was met with relief from many Reddit users on Twitter… unsurprisingly, not everyone was happy…