You can help protect kids by sending an email
I’ve seen some disgusting things in the debate over LGBTQ equality – we all have – but there’s one blogger who takes it a step too far.
Would you read a SocialWorked newsletter? If enough people sign up I’ll start writing. Click here to join the SocialWorked mailing list. I promise not to share your information.
This person outs transgender kids on her blog, Facebook page, and Google+ page. She posts their photos, names and ages next to photos of a Nazi concentration camp (to imply transgender children transitioning is like the Holocaust?) as well as hateful rants and what look like personal photos of adults.
A quick look at her writing and you know this person isn’t well. Unfortunately, if I identify or even quote this person I’m worried it will spread these kids’ information further, so I’m keeping that to myself. But a lot of people have complained about her online and their comments show she’s caused some real pain. (I think it goes without saying that outing LGBTQ youth is dangerous – it can lead to kids being kicked out of home, getting attacked or even driven to suicide.)
Technology now makes it possible to start with a photo and find every single place that photo appears online. Anyone could click on a child’s school yearbook photo and wind up on this person’s blog. And unfortunately the current climate is so toxic that people sometimes find this person useful. Pages’ worth of websites link to her blog – some to trash it but others to praise it. And she frequently gets more Google searches than the also-noxious Gender Identity Project, which has also been associated with outing LGBTQ youth.
I complained about this person using Google’s online complaint form on March 23. The children’s personal information is still up and I haven’t received a reply. So I emailed Chrissy Persico, Google’s head of consumer PR. Please join me – emails and suggested language below.
I’m informed a user is posting photos and personal information about transitioning transgender youth. This is cruel and dangerous – please immediately remove this user from your platforms.
For your reference, emails about this user with identifying information were sent to individuals related to all get known platforms – Google staff (Carla Persico at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) and Facebook staff (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) – on March 27 with the subtext line “CHILD ENDANGERMENT – OUTING TRANS YOUTH.”
Please also make sure this user cannot post offensive content in the future; and please and report any illegal actions to the proper authorities.
My email to Google (with identifying info removed) is below.
Dear Google staff,
A user has been using multiple Google platforms to distribute photos, names and ages of transgender youth in an apparent effort to “out” them. I made a complaint using Blogger’s online form on March 23, but I have not received a response and the material is still posted.
The user’s name is *****
I’ve found profiles under that name on Blogger, Google+ and YouTube. The user posts information about LGBT youth in what seems to be an ongoing series. A recent example is here:
As you know, current technology makes it fairly easy to find matches for any given photo online. Therefore, the photos alone provide enough information to determine these children’s identities.
“Outing” LGBTQ youth can lead to serious repercussions that include suicide. These posts seem to be violations of your policies on bullying, child endangerment, and posting personal and identifying content (other pages also have photos of apparently LGBTQ individuals that appear private, accompanied by hateful language. I believe the user’s comments on LGBTQ people constitute hate speech. Finally, please note the attached screen grab from the user’s YouTube account, which shows the user stating, “Death to *****” – an incitement to violence.
Multiple users have spoken out in concern about this user (you can see them in the user’s comments; also by Googling the user’s name). The user has also referenced complaints, so it’s possible action has been taken in the past.
*** PLEASE IMMEDIATELY REMOVE this user from all Google platforms for child endangerment and violation of your content policies.
Please also take any steps possible to block this user from posting under different Google accounts in the future (Google search turns up the user posting under a close variant of the current screen name, “*****”). It looks like this user might have been blocked in the past and simply created new accounts. It’s clear thus user won’t stop unless unable to access Google platforms.
If it is found this user violated any laws, please report this matter to the authorities.
I will keep an eye on the pages in question and ask others to reach out to you in this matter. Please let me know what steps you are able to take.