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Twitter Temporarily Blocks LGBTQ Search Terms, Calls it an 'Error'

Tuesday Nov 7, 2017

Twitter blocked users from searching LGBTQ search terms like #gay, #lesbian and #bisexual over the weekend, sparking an outcry and some users accusing the social media giant of trying to silence LGBTQ people.

In a report from Gizmodo, users who searched worlds like "bisexual" with or without the hashtag got no results except the following response: "The term you entered did not bring up any results. You may have mistyped your term or your search setting could be protecting you from some potentially sensitive content."

Some users said they got the same response when searching for "gay" and lesbian but on Sunday, Gizmodo reported those words turned up results, however.

LGBTQ rights group the Human Rights Campaign called out the issue, directly tweeting to @TwitterSupport.

Gizmodo reports some users believed the issue came from the filtering of supposedly pornographic content.

@TwitterSupport eventually addressed the issue, though not specifically.

Gizmodo writes:

It's still unclear how the "error" occurred in the first place, though the continued persistence of the problem hours after the company acknowledged it suggests a solution at a deeper technical level than simply removing the term from a list. As TechCrunch noted, after Twitter's seemingly ineffective response to years of widespread harassment on the site, some users have complained the site is still doing a poor job of moderating content.

EDGE searched for the terms "gay," "bisexual" and "lesbian" Tuesday afternoon, all of which yielded results on Twitter.

Earlier this year, YouTube came under fire when its "Restricted Mode," an option that filters and blocks "potentially inappropriate content," was blocking thousands of LGBTQ related videos.


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