Young Irish LGBTQ+ people demand safer social media platforms

'It's Our Social Media' is a campaign organised by the national LGBTQ+ youth organisation, BeLonG To.

Four young people wearing pink hats holding round sings with smiley faces on. Young Irish LGBTQ+ people demand safer social media platforms through a new BeLonG To campaign

A new campaign devised and created by young people and led by the LGBTQ+ youth charity BeLonG To is calling on social media users and companies to make the platforms safer for all.

While social media has a lot of positive benefits, it’s also well known that the platforms could be a lot safer. Trolling, toxic behaviour and online attacks can be a regular occurrence for young LGBTQ+ people. International research shows that LGBTQ+ youth experience higher levels of cyberbullying than their non-LGBTQ+ friends.

The new campaign, It’s Our Social Media, reminds us that as social media is powered by the users, it can be shaped for the better.

CEO of BeLonG To, Monnine Griffith, shared at launch of the campaign, “Online platforms are places we can connect, express ourselves, learn and explore. But we know sometimes they can also turn nasty. There’s a lot of hate online, and much of this is directed towards members of the LGBTQ+ community. We need to remember that social media is powered by us – the users. If it’s toxic, we can help change it. We can shape it for the better.

Griffith continued, “It’s not solely the user who can make these changes. Better regulation can hold social media companies to account and make a big difference to our experience online. That’s why we are calling on the Government to amend the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill.

“Young people are a powerful force for change in Ireland and we are so grateful to those who shared their experiences and expertise to create this campaign with us. Together, we can change the narrative and take back social media.”

BeLonG To have also created an online hub – It’s Our Social Media – where people can share their own positive news stories or favourite memes to #FEEDTHEGOOD #BLOCKTHEBAD and help make social media a safer place for LGBTQ+ young people.

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