LGBTQ+ youth charity quits Twitter over ‘increase in extreme views’ after Musk takeover

Elon Musk

LGBT Youth Scotland, a charity for queer young people, has deleted its Twitter account over safety fears due to “increase in extreme views” following Elon Musk’s takeover.

Chief executive Dr Mhairi Crawford said that the charity deleted its Twitter account  – which had more than 33,000 followers – because it felt this was the “only option” after Musk’s acquisition of the platform in October 2022. 

“Since Twitter’s takeover in 2022 we have become increasingly concerned by a number of statements and decisions that have had a real impact on the LGBTQ+ community,” Dr Crawford told AberdeenLive.

‘Troubling increase in extreme views’

“Our following on Twitter was the largest across all of our platforms,” Dr Crawford continued. “But we have noticed a troubling increase in extreme views and targeted attacks towards members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as our own charity directly.

“We want to create safe spaces for young people to feel hopeful about the world around them and their own futures and, ultimately, Twitter does not make this possible.”

Crawford said she hopes LGBT Youth Scotland leaving Twitter will give other organisations the “confidence to leave platforms where negativity is so prevalent”. 

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The charity supports LGBTQ+ 13–25 year olds across Scotland and delivers LGBT Charter programme to schools, organisations and businesses.

Its departure from the platform comes after celebrities including gay icon Elton John and actors Jim Carrey, Whoopi Goldberg and Jameela Jamil decided to turn their backs on Twitter following Musk’s takeover.

Anti-LGBTQ+ hate on Twitter reaches terrifying new levels

A Media Matters report in December 2022 found that since Musk acquired the platform, anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric – including use of the “groomer” slur – has skyrocketed on Twitter. 

The organisation, along with GLAAD, analysed the tweets of nine prominent right-wing figures and accounts, and tracked retweets of posts containing the word “groomer” – which saw an 1,200 per cent increase following Musk’s takeover.

A survey in February 2023 also found that 60 per cent of LGBTQ+ organisations and activists had reported an increase in abusive speech since Musk took the helm.

Musk himself has posted several anti-LGBTQ+ statements in the past, including claims that a “woke mind virus” needs to be defeated, blaming “communist” universities for his trans daughter’s fraught relationship with him, and making false claims about gender-affirming surgery.

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