Part 2: Identifying online abuse directed at LGBTQ+ communities

Online abuse happens on social networking sites (SNS), but it also applies to emails, gaming sites, and online forums.

What is online abuse?

Online abuse is any type of abuse which happens on the internet. This can be via a variety of devices connected to the web, such as mobile phones, computers, and tablets. We focus on abuse that happens on SNS here, but it also applies to emails, gaming sites, and online forums.

What are the key issues identified by LGBTQ+ communities?

Anyone can experience online abuse; however, research indicates that gender and sexual minorities may be vulnerable to online discrimination.

LGBTQ+ online abuse is a direct result of prejudice towards someone’s perceived or actual sex, sexuality, or gender identity.

What are some of the personal experiences of online abuse?

Below is a selection of short narratives of personal accounts from those who have taken part in the study. Many of these highlight the lasting impact of online abuse targeted at sexual and gender minority groups.

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I’ve had fairly regular attacking threads from people saying that they wish that I’d had cancer, and making death threats to me and stuff like that… people who don’t understand the scene think you are a viable target for that sort of thing.
LGBTQ+ focus group