Online hate widespread against LGBT+ people

8 in 10 LGBT+ people have experienced online hate 

LGBT+ people face high levels of online abuse according to research by Galop, the ​leading LGBT+ anti-violence charity.

The findings of this report, drawn from a survey of 700 LGBT+ people in the UK, show that:

  • 8 in 10 LGBT+ people had experienced online abuse.
  • Among those targeted, 5 in 10 had experienced online hate more than 20 times. 1 in 5 had experienced more than 100 incidents.
  • 6 in 10 were threatened with physical violence, and 4 in 10 received death threats or threats of sexual violence. 
  • As a result, 4 in 10 people used their online accounts less, while 2 in 10 removed LGBT+ information from their profiles or left social media sites altogether. 
  • Less than half reported their experiences to social media platforms, and less than 1 in 10 reported to the police.

Nick Antjoule, Head of Hate Crime Services at Galop said:

Despite progress on LGBT+ rights, online platforms remain hostile environments for many LGBT+ people. This report offers a sobering reminder of the harms caused by online hate. It targets individuals, poisons social discourse and limits opportunities to live open and fulfilled lives.

At Galop we value free speech. It is a cornerstone of our society that allows oppressed groups to speak up for our rights, even when we are considered dangerous, immoral or illegal. However, free speech is increasingly used as a fig leaf to legitimise hatred. To remedy that we hope this report will spur urgent action to create practical, legal, regulatory frameworks to tackle online hate and support those targeted.

Nik Noone, Chief Executive of Galop said:

Recorded anti-LGBT+ hate crime has doubled in the last three years. This is reflected in the escalating scale, severity and complexity of online hate cases we are supporting at Galop. We hope the findings and recommendations of this report will act as a springboard for action.

My thanks to Luke Hubbard for producing this report, Melanie Stray for designing the survey and the rest of the Galop team who work hard every day to make life safe, just and fair for LGBT+ people.

Notes

1) The full Galop is available here.

2) Galop is the UK’s leading LGBT+ anti-violence charity. For the past 35 years we have been providing advice, support and advocacy to LGBT+ victims and campaigning to end anti-LGBT+ violence and abuse. Galop works within three key areas; hate crime, domestic abuse and sexual violence. Our purpose is to make life safe, just and fair for LGBT+ people. We work to help LGBT+ people achieve positive changes to their current situation, through practical and emotional support, to develop resilience and to build lives free from violence and abuse.

3) The findings of this report are based on 700 survey responses from LGBT+ people in the UK. The demographic profile of the sample included 37% of people who identified as male, 37% who identified as female, 13% who identified as non-binary, 6% identified as genderqueer, 5% as other, and 2% were unsure. In terms of sexual orientation, 27% identified as gay men, 22% as lesbian, 18% as bisexual, 12% as pansexual, 8% as queer, 7% as asexual, 4% as other, and 2% as heterosexual. Furthermore, 29% of the sample were trans, 65% were cisgender, and 6% were unsure. In terms of ethnicity, 74% were white British, 10% were white European, 4% other, 4% white Irish, 2% mixed – white and Asian, 1% were Asian/Asian British – Indian, mixed – white and black Caribbean, mixed – white and black African, white Gypsy or Irish traveller, and other – Latin America. 44% of participants were between the age of 18-24, 13% were between 30-39, 12% were between 25-29, 10% were under 18, 9% were between 40-49 and 50-59, 3% between 60-69, and 1% were over 70. With regards to geographical profile, 18% of respondents were from South East England, 12% from Greater London, 10% from Scotland and North West England, 9% from South West England, 8% from West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber, 7% from the East Midlands, 6% from Wales, 5% from North East England, 4% from East England, and 2% from Northern Ireland.

Our services:

Our hate crime casework service can give you advice, support and help if you experience homophobia, transphobia or biphobia. Click for more

Domestic abuse is any kind of threatening behaviour, violence, or abuse between people who have been intimate partners or family members. Click for more

Galop provides confidential and independent advice and support for LGBT+ people who have experienced sexual assault, abuse or violence. Click for more