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National LGBTQ Task Force

Twitter came under fresh criticism over the weekend after the service blocked some search results using a variety of terms related to the LGBTQ community including both "bisexual" and "queer." Even as photo and video searches for these terms were blocked, critics said plenty of white supremacist and other hateful content remains on the site.

Why it matters: It's the latest criticism against Twitter for its uneven policing of content on its site. Twitter declined to comment beyond a vague tweet that said it had "identified an error with search results for certain terms."

Jim Halloran, chief digital officer for GLAAD and former head of global content management at Twitter criticized his former employer for again blocking LGBT-themed content.

"This is not the first time innocent LGBTQ content has been wrongfully blocked on Twitter," Halloran told Axios. "Yet each time we see band aid fixes that ignore the root of the issue. Not only does Twitter need to fix the biases in their code once and for all, but they must do a better job of responding quickly to LGBTQ users. LGBTQ youth this weekend were told their identities were banned - that flies in the face of the company's commitment to diversity which explicitly states 'we can make product decisions that include everyone'."

This isn't the first time Twitter has been confronted for blocking LGBTQ-themed content, nor is Twitter the only tech giant to struggle with the issues. Google's YouTube came under fire after it was flagging a wide swath of LGBTQ videos as "restricted content."

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
11 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.