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LGBTQ: Human Rights Violation in the Digital Space


With the advancement in technology, the digital space has become toxic for the LGBT community. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights are being digitally violated at alarming rate and this is getting normalised because these perpetrators often gets away with it.

Research shows that 85% of photographs posted on social media platforms by LGBTQ with their partners is more often met by toxic comments and most times, death or physical violence threats.

In Africa, especially Nigeria, the game is entirely at a higher level of toxicity because homosexuality is perceived as unacceptable and Nigeria’s 2013 ‘Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act’ made homosexuality illegal, punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment. As a result, Nigeria has witnessed notable LGBTQ fled the country over the years.

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LGBTQ Photocredit: Bloomberg

Still, the virtual space isn’t safe for them to voice their opinions on identities, post romantic pictures with their partners, participate in human rights activism, share their everyday pain and experience of homophobia without being harassed, trolled, body shamed or threatened with physical violence or murder. Moreover, these actions have mental, psychological and emotional effects on these victims.

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For instance, on May 22, Kayode Ani wrote on his Twitter page how he woke up to dozens of threats after the pictures of their first LGBTQ community public protest in Abuja were posted on Instagram.

In as much as we are witnessing the bold move of few LGBTQ community to protect and fight for their human rights, it should also be noted that there are many others who are still battling with fear of violation and humiliation of their human rights.

These and many more examples of online violence begs the question, “how do we create a safe digital space that protects human rights in the age of trolls and anti-LGBTQ keypad warriors?

By Temitope Akinleye

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