Media Matters, a left-wing activist organization, is urging Twitter to censor the word “groomer,” which it characterizes as anti-LGBT.
The term “groomer,” which describes an adult who befriends a child without proper boundaries in order to prime them for for sexual abuse, has been used by conservatives to criticize child drag events and lessons on sexuality and gender identity targeting young children. Media Matters argued that the word is being used to smear LGBT people as sexual predators and urged Twitter to crack down on the term.
“This is one of the latest violent acts resulting from a right-wing smear campaign on social media that has driven nationwide harassment and violence against members of the LGBTQ community and their allies,” Media Matters researcher Mia Gingerich, who works in the organization’s LGBTQ Program, wrote in an article. “In the face of this targeted hate campaign, Twitter has failed to act to protect its users.”
“The platform continues to allow content promoting the offensive and flagrantly false accusation that LGBTQ people are attempting to sexually exploit children — a conspiracy theory with deeply rooted anti-gay and anti-trans origins — to spread unchecked,” the article said.
Media Matters’ article targeted James Lindsay, Libs of TikTok and Jaimee Michell, all of whom have used the term “groomer” on Twitter while drawing attention to instances of adults sharing sexual content with children. The organization said these individuals’ use of the term “groomer” violated Twitter’s hateful conduct policy and should be banned.
“Media Matters has attempted to do what many other groomer protecting organizations and publications have already tried, which is to paint Gays Against Groomers, a coalition comprised solely of gay people, as anti-LGBTQ,” Michell, who runs the Twitter account “Gays Against Groomers,” told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The article called Lindsay a “far-right author” and said he started using the phrase “groomer” frequently in February to target teachers, schools and others who supported LGBT inclusion.
“I actually started doing it in October,” Lindsay told the DCNF, adding that people should listen to his podcast series, “Groomer Schools,” to better understand his use of the term.
“They can make up their minds for themselves after hearing my actual case,” he told the DCNF.
Libs of TikTok and Media Matters did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.