Aug 15, 2022 - Technology

GLAAD calls on social media to push monkeypox info

Illustration of patterns of hospital plus turned into x’s and one right side up

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After Twitter began offering further monkeypox information to users, GLAAD is putting out a call for other social media platforms to follow suit.

Why it matters: As monkeypox has spread in the U.S., so has online misinformation about how it is contracted and who is at risk.

  • The fact that the virus has so far spread primarily among men who have sex with men has fueled misconceptions that monkeypox is a sexually transmitted infection.

What's happening: When Twitter users search the term "monkeypox" on the social media site, they are presented with a link to the Department of Health & Human Services and invited to "Know the facts."

  • GLAAD told Axios that they are calling on Meta, TikTok and YouTube to also steer users to trusted sources of medical information about monkeypox.

What they're saying: "Twitter's action will not only help stem the tide of MPV misinformation, but is also a clear example of leadership underscoring that institutions across all of civil society can play roles towards addressing this public health emergency," said GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement.

  • "Though anyone can contract MPV, it is disproportionately impacting the LGBTQ community, especially men who have sex with men, and it is urgent and critical to get the facts around vaccines, treatment, and prevention widely and equitably distributed."

Between the lines: The call for action comes a month after GLAAD released a report that gave major social media sites a failing grade when it came to protecting LGBTQ users on their networks.

  • The report gave points to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok for having at least some policies protecting LGBTQ users from harassment and attack, but took points away for both the limitations of their policies as well as actions taken in upholding them.
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