(PatrioticPost.com)- During a hearing last week, California Congresswoman Katie Porter said describing LGBT people as “pedophiles” or “groomers” is a way to brand them as criminals because of their identity and could stoke violence.
At last Wednesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing on extremist rhetoric on social media, LGBT activists as well as survivors of the shooting at the Club Q gay nightclub in Colorado testified about anti-LGBT violence.
During her exchange with Human Rights Campaign president Kelley Robinson, Porter asked about HRC’s report analyzing the “500 most viewed, most influential tweets” identifying LGBT people as “groomers.”
Porter claimed that calling someone a “groomer” “is an age-old lie to position LGBTQ+ people as a threat to kids.” She argued that the term is designed to “deny them access to public spaces” while stoking fear and even violence. She asked Robinson if Twitter’s hateful content policy permits users to call LGBT people “groomers.”
Robinson said Twitter, as well as Facebook and other platforms, does not permit the term “groomer” or “pedophile” to describe people. She said the Human Rights Campaign is calling on social media platforms “to uphold their community standards.” Robinson also called on every American who might see someone using the terms “groomer” or “pedophile” to hold themselves and others “accountable.”
Porter agreed, telling Robinson that using “groomer” or “pedophile” “is alleging that a person is criminal somehow and is engaging in criminal acts merely because of their identity.” She said doing so is “clearly prohibited under Twitter’s content,” and expressed dismay that Human Rights Campaign still found “hundreds of these posts on the platform.”
Porter then claimed that Twitter allowing “groomer” and “pedophile” to circulate online is reaching “72 million users.” She asserted that censoring posts using those terms “is not just about what happens online,” claiming without evidence that “what happens online translates into real harms in people’s lives.”