I'm certain it's no surprise to readers of Bilerico that there isn't much research available on the LGBT community, and there certainly isn't much that pertains to the LGBT community's usage of social media or how those in the community may be negatively affected by it. If you follow my blog or posts on Bilerico, then you know that social media and ethics are key topics of interest to me, which is why I've chosen to do my final graduate paper on the topic.
There's no doubt that social media has given us the tools we need to reach and engage people at scale with our message and that social platforms have provided the opportunities we need to easily connect with likeminded people, such as those within the LGBT community.
But what about those who have been negatively affected by these platforms? What about those who have had their sexual identity or gender identity revealed when they didn't want it to, costing them their job, home, and even risking their general safety and security?
Since social media's inception, in particular Facebook, people have become accustomed to sharing just about anything, not only about themselves but about their peers too, on these platforms. As these platforms advance, there's been little in the form of guidelines that encourage people to question whether or not what a person shares may negatively affect someone else in their network. I hope that my research brings a voice to those who may be affected so that we can begin to consider the ethics that should come into play when using social media.
To help me, please take a moment to fill out this survey. I encourage you to share it with your broader networks. Thank you!