Meta’s Metaverse is Not a Place for LGBTQ+ Community, Just like Insta

Meta’s Metaverse is Not a Place for LGBTQ+ Community, Just like Insta

The LGBTQ+ community is not feeling so happy about the algorithms of Metaverse

From a third person's view, it may often seem that Facebook and Instagram are both already so welcoming toward queer and trans people, and certainly don't profit off of right-wing conspiracy theories or systemically suppress content that's even tangentially related to the LGBTQ+ community. However, things are not as real as they show. In reality, it seems as if they have depicted the Matrix as more of a prison than a playground (which perhaps is an indication of the state of the Metaverse to come). Plus, LGBTQ+ people have long been experts (perhaps too experts) at cultivating virtual communities, as anyone who had a Tumblr account between the years of 2010 and 2018 knows.  If queer and trans people actually had a fair shot at shaping the Metaverse to come, they could probably create some really innovative things. But considering Meta's track record, and considering that the Internet as it is known, continues to become universally PG-13 thanks to SESTA-FOSTA.

Over the past few years, Meta, the company that owns platforms Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, among others has developed a reputation for instituting guidelines and enforcement strategies that over police various communities. Watching this play out on Instagram, specifically, can be particularly alarming: Posts by straight musical artists and creators that enjoy wide distribution, sometimes even promoted by the platform can get LGBTQ+ people, sex workers, and sex educators suspended, shadow-banned, disabled, or de-platformed for life.

Terry Miller, the founder of It Gets Better Project and the ambassador of Tom of Finland Store, mentioned that "Since the new year, I've personally had more than 20 post-removal notifications from Instagram. One post featured me holding a wine bottle where I was accused of violating "guidelines on sale of illegal or regulated goods" like drugs, guns, or explosives. Others featured me in swimsuits or short shorts — sure, the images were sexy, but they certainly weren't "explicit sexual intercourse," nor did they depict "stimulation of genitals, anus, uncovered female nipples or breasts" as the flags said."

On the other hand, the Meta website seems to be colorful as ever as it promotes how accepting they are towards the LGBTQ+ community: "Meta is launching the LGBTQ+ Safety Center Hub on Facebook this month to enable simple access to resources that can help the community feel secure. The center includes a variety of safety features, such as tips to increase account security, tools to avoid bullying and harassment, and information on how to report harmful content."

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