Equality Matters

MRC’s Tim Graham To Yahoo!: Don’t Delete All Anti-Gay Hate Comments

February 03, 2012 1:59 pm ET - by Carlos Maza

Earlier this week, Yahoo! partnered with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in order to monitor and remove hateful and violent anti-LGBT comments on its websites. According to Yahoo!, such comments are in violation of the company’s Terms of Service, which prohibits content that is “unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable.” 

The partnership came in response to a number of extreme anti-gay comments made in response to a “Reality Rocks” blog entry featuring an interview with former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert. GLAAD reported:

Perhaps most disturbingly, one commenter posted, "It would make my day if someone was to do to him what those men did to Matthew Shepard," an openly gay University of Wyoming student who was brutally murdered in a bias-motivated crime in 1998. [emphasis added]

Yahoo!’s decision, however, isn’t sitting well with Tim Graham, Director of Media Analysis for the Media Research Center (MRC). On Friday, Graham worried that by "bow[ing] to GLAAD pressure," Yahoo! might censor all anti-LGBT viewpoints:

There is nothing wrong with taking down comments wishing violence on gay people. Censor away. But would GLAAD also like to take down comments suggesting homosexuality is wrong? Anyone who follows them would strongly suspect that when companies like Yahoo! bow to GLAAD pressure, it's not just about eliminating violent comments, but all "anti-LGBT comments."

Could one suggest song titles like "Naked Love" are too risque for kids? This might even include comments suggesting a performer like Lambert is a screechy, egotistical hack -- in other words, the kind of commentary Simon Cowell gets for canning Paula Abdul.

Last December, Graham condemned media outlets for going too easy on the victims of anti-LGBT bullying. It’s no surprise, then, that the “media critic” seems to think some outlets are now going too hard on the ones doing the bullying.


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