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

WASHINTON: In the days after a gunman killed five people at a gay nightclub in Colorado last month, much of social media lit up with familiar expressions of grief, mourning and disbelief.
But on some message boards and online platforms, the tone is celebratory. “I love waking up to great news,” wrote one user on Gab, a platform popular with far-right groups. Other users on the site called for further violence.
The hate is not limited to the side pages. Above Twitter, YouTube and Facebookresearchers and LGBTQ supporters monitored an increase in hate speech and threats of violence directed at LGBTQ people, groups and events, with the majority targeting transgender people.
The content comes after conservative lawmakers in several states introduced dozens of anti-LGBTQ laws and amid a wave of targeted threats LGBTQ groupas well as hospitals, healthcare workers, libraries and private businesses that support them.
“I don’t think people understand the peril we live in,” 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 false claims spread online about care programs Transgender care.


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