Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Twitter Bans Language Promoting Violence Against Targeted Minority Groups: Wake-Up Call to Online Catholic Forums Where LGBT Lives Are Discussed

Reuters reports (by way of Religion News Service) this morning: 

Twitter Inc has clarified its definition of abusive behavior that will prompt it to delete accounts, banning "hateful conduct" that promotes violence against specific groups.

Reuters cites Twitter's new rules banning hate speech targeting particular minority groups:

You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease.

Once again, this is why I keep pushing for Catholic journals that sponsor online discussion forums to be more vigilant and proactive in refusing to allow people to use those forums to spread toxic lies about LGBT people, lies whose intent is to elicit violence (whether overt violence or the "soft" violence of discrimination) against this targeted minority group. As I noted yesterday, many of the comments posted in the thread discussing the recent National Catholic Reporter editorial naming Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon persons of the year quite specifically stated — and repeatedly so — that children raised by same-sex parents are damaged by those parents.

When challenged to substantiate this claim, posters making it could produce no evidence to back up their claim. They could do so because there is no credible evidence to substantiate this claim. All well-conducted studies of gay parenting indicate the opposite — namely, that children raised in households headed by same-sex parents often fare better than children raised in households headed by conventional opposite-sex parents.

Much that passes as "discussion" or the exchange of "opinions" representing "both sides" as LGBT lives are discussed at Catholic blog sites is simply hate speech. It's designed to be hate speech. It's intended to attack, lie about, misrepresent, and make LGBT people susceptible to violence and discrimination — in the name of Catholic truth or Catholic values.

Our culture — at least in its mainstream forms — has long since recognized that there are not "two sides" to the question of whether people of color are human or whether Jews spread diseases and represent the moral decay of Christian societies. No mainstream Catholic forum would permit people to spread such toxic lies about African Americans or Jews, in the name of  defending Catholic values — though there are denizens of the dark gutters of American Catholic thought who still do, in their own marginal forums, promulgate these lies and claim Catholic sanction for them.

It's time for hate speech in the form of toxic lies disguised as "free speech" or "discussion" of "both sides" similarly to be declared off-limits by Catholic discussion forums. People can believe whatever nonsense they choose to believe. But they shouldn't be allowed to use Catholic discussion forums to engage in hate speech against targeted minority groups while claiming that they're representing Catholic values as they do so.

The graphic appears at various online sites, but I haven't yet found one providing information about its original source.

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