“Doctor Who” writer Gareth Roberts posted transphobic and homophobic remarks to his twitter account on Sept. 3. After receiving some backlash, Roberts has since deleted the comments from his twitter account.
Identified as a “pretty prolific writer” by Bleeding Cool’s Joe Glass, Roberts has worked on six episodes of the “Doctor Who” television series along with several novels tied to the show.
Roberts is not new to controversy, as he often attempts to incite such anger through the posting of incendiary material on his account according to himself. Upon receiving backlash for these most recent tweets, Roberts tweeted, “Oh god it’s the rainbow cult. Bye!” before deleting the original controversial tweets.
A full synopsis of the events surrounding the tweets can be found in a short video created by The Advocate.
While Robert’s tweets are problematic, they are only one part of the ever-increasing dark side of Twitter. Britney Fitzgerald of Huff Post reports that “about 15,000 bullying-related tweets are posted every day.”
Furthermore, a disproportional amount of these tweets target LGBT people. On average, around 3,000 tweets per day will include the word “faggot” according to NoHomophobes.com, a website which tracks the usage of LGBT slurs on Twitter.
In particular, cyberbullying is a problem for LGBT youth, with 42 percent having experienced online harassment according to GLSEN and BullyingStatistics.org. They also point out that LGBT youth spend more time online than other children.
An infographic from Autostraddle further breaks down the bullying experienced by LGBT youth, demonstrating the majority of it occurs online.
While it is difficult to combat the largely unchecked LGBT harassment occurring on Twitter and social media, several groups are working to do so. One such group, led by Curve Magazine, is implementing #no2LGBTHate to bring awareness to LGBT cyber harassment. They are calling on Twitter as an organization to take responsibility for the anti-LGBT rhetoric being posted on their portal and remove these posts.
The Curve Magazine staff writes, “We need Twitter to silence LGBT hate. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia have no place online #no2LGBTHate”.
In addition to these group efforts, individual members of gay Twitter are taking action as well, evidenced by their quick and strong response to discriminatory comments such as the ones made by writer Gareth Roberts.
Do you know of any other noteworthy efforts to stem the tide of anti LGBT rhetoric on Twitter and other social media platforms? Please let me know in the comments below, in the contact portion of my website matthewyoga.net, or by tweeting me at [@MatthewWill98].