Pride Under Attack: Combating Disinformation And Hate In Europe

LGBTQ rights organizations across Europe are seeing an increase in hate speech and misinformation against them as many Pride marches take place this June.

Will Paris Pride, which takes place this Saturday, be the target of hate speech? LGBTQ rights organizations in Europe are seeing an upsurge in toxic content against the LGBTQ community and misinformation on the internet across the world. Public events, especially those associated with the Pride marches that began in June in Europe, are a prime target, they say.

The trend is all the more worrying as it comes after a spike in anti-Pride violence last summer.

Calls for murder

Publications falsely claiming that the Arc de Triomphe in Paris has become a rainbow installation are circulating across the continent. In Greece, the insults fuse as well as the calls to “execute” LGBTQ people.

A false post claiming that the Polish army will create “LGBT units” was shared in June on Telegram, Twitter and Facebook by Serbian Internet users. In their responses, some called for “burning at the stake” the new soldiers and praised Hitler’s persecution of homosexuals.

In Hungary, Pride is mentioned online with homophobic formulations that recall the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric of the government and its media outlets.

Claims that the LGBTQ community is a danger to society, and especially to children, abound. Finnish and Croatian netizens ignored – deliberately or not – the satirical nature of a Canadian comedian’s book to falsely describe it as “promoting sex to children” as part of a campaign for trans rights .

Some European countries, Spain, Slovenia or Moldova, have adopted texts protecting certain LGBTQ rights.

But in a recent report, the Brussels-based International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe) finds that “public discourse is becoming increasingly polarized and violent, particularly against trans people. “.

A report by the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) from May 2023 also notes that prolific anti-LGBTQ disinformation “often incites hatred against minorities, laws and institutions”.

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