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GLAAD, Yahoo, and Internet Push-Back

February 2, 2012

With the internet all abuzz recently about SOPA, PIPA, Twitter’s new censorship thing they’ve got going on, it seems timely that GLAAD and Yahoo would join forces to show people what good censorship looks like.

I hesitate to write the words good censorship consecutively, because I know many would argue there’s no such thing. From a social activism standpoint, there must be such a thing. If we’re going to change the world (which is the unachievable, lofty goal every sociologist and anthropologist secretly has), it’s important to address the problems where they begin.

Instead of bailing out the boat constantly, we’ve got to just fix the thing.

Take a look at this article first concerning the removal of hate comments directed at a posted interview with Adam Lambert and then come back here and we’ll chat some more.

So here’s the thing: While a lot of you SOPA haters out there might cringe at this censorship going on, I think it’s great. Why? Because this is a moment when two large organizations have paired up and started working together to fix the boat instead of bailing it out.

What happens is this- We live in a generally homophobic society (I’m working on fixing it, believe me). When we allow hateful comments to remain up online, we’re teaching people who go online and perchance see those comments that this is still true, that should they discuss their LGBTQ identity that they too will face this hate directed towards them. We are teaching kids/teens/adults who see these comments that this is also the society that they should aspire to conform to. We teach them this is normal, expected, encouraged.

Photo of Adam Lambert

I wish I could pull off that hair

So it might read as censorship and I’m just as happy SOPA was dropped as the rest of you, but this sort of small activism that is trying to fix the boat is important. Even more important is talking about it so we can continue to push for the internet as a safe space to connect with people and not a place to fear.

So I echo GLAAD’s Director of Digital Initiatives, Allison Palmer when she says, “Young music fans should be able to interact and comment on sites without seeing violent, hateful comments directed at LGBT people.”

P.S.- As a side note, check out all of the stuff going on with the Susan G. Komen foundation and Planned Parenthood and stand with Planned Parenthood by signing this letter!

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