The month after the Florida Senate passed the Parental Rights in Education bill, aka the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, on March 8th. anti-LGBT hate speech has surged online to over 406%.
Via NBC NEWS: On March 28, when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed the bill into law, there was also a marked increase in the use of the “#OKGroomer” hashtag, which the report said was often used as a derogatory response to tweets from LGBTQ educators, organizations and health care providers, among others. On the day after DeSantis signed the bill, “OK groomer” tweets peaked with 9,219 total, or about one every nine seconds, the report found. Tweets from just 10 people — including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ press secretary — were viewed an estimated 48 million times and were “responsible for driving” the “grooming” narrative, researchers found. “We’re in the middle of a growing wave of hate and demonization targeting LGBTQ+ people — often distributed digitally by opportunistic politicians and so-called ‘influencers’ for personal gain,” Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate
Researchers collected a sample of 989,547 tweets that were posted between Jan. 1 and July 27 and that mentioned the LGBTQ community alongside words including “groomer” and “pedophile.” They found that an average of 6,607 tweets a day used such rhetoric in the month after the bill passed, a significant increase from 1,307 tweets the month before.