X (formerly Twitter) Bans Pink Media & #ILoveGay Network, suppressing over 1 Million LGBTQ Voices. Who’s Next?

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X (formerly Twitter) Bans Pink Media & #ILoveGay Network, suppressing over 1 Million LGBTQ Voices. Who’s Next?

HOME | Blog | X (formerly Twitter) Bans Pink Media & #ILoveGay Network, suppressing over 1 Million LGBTQ Voices. Who’s Next?

From a business angle, we were hesitant to report this and put out a statement, in hopes that we would be able to recover our 250+ profiles on X from what they are calling a ‘permanent suspension.’ But since the morning of July 4th, 2024, when our entire network of profiles was taken down, we’ve received numerous emails, DMs and texts from LGBTQ+ folks from around the world asking us what has happened.

What happened was that at exactly the same time, 6:30 am EST, all of our X profiles were suspended based on what they called a “user report” that we had broken one of the X rules. Which rule we may have violated still remains a mystery, but 5 days later, we are still down with no hopes of having our X profiles reinstated. What is interesting is that all of our profiles, including ones that were more business-focused and not part of the #ILoveGay network, and a few profiles that hadn’t been used in years, all became suspended at the same moment, which can only really be done internally by X. It’s suggesting that someone inside X had done their homework and that this was a well-researched and well-prepared takedown of a network of LGBTQ+ X profiles that had well over 1 million followers worldwide. We have also discovered X has taken down a wide variety of LGBTQ+ tourism profiles, including Palm Springs’ Gay Desert Guide, Alan Beck’s FunMaps and Visit Britain’s GayBritain account.

As we write this, we are aware that people reading could be rolling their eyes and wondering why we even stayed on X in the first place, while so many leading LGBTQ+ organizations had already left the platform. For us, the answer was simple: We were reaching an LGBTQ+ audience around the world that could not be reached with the same impact on Facebook, Instagram, Threads or TikTok. Each profile spoke to a very specific LGBTQ+ audience, both regionally or thematically. Each profile stayed true to that audience, engaging with and sharing content that was specific to that region or theme. It operated like a Facebook or LinkedIn Group, and it amplified LGBTQ+ voices around the world and helped bring greater visibility and awareness to LGBTQ+ individuals, influencers, organizations and newsmakers worldwide. We were never the loudest voice nor the strongest voice in these communities, we were simply an engaged participant with some of the various LGBTQ+ posts and conversations that mattered, helping to take a post with perhaps only a small handful of viewers and impressions, and elevating that post to a wider yet still targeted LGBTQ+ audience.

More specifically, in June 2024, we had a very strong month, both with visibility and with clients wishing to work with us to reach a wider audience. One of our clients had a simple advertising campaign targeting our audience on #ILoveGay Music. With our organic reach, coupled with some targeted advertising dollars, those posts went viral, reaching an audience with over 17 million video views. This kind of performance is nearly impossible to achieve on any other platform when the budget is $5,000 or less, and it was this kind of performance we were getting really good at achieving with our #ILoveGay X strategy of simply staying engaged with our followers online.

Was the strength of this campaign that got us on the X’s radar? Or perhaps it was the exposure we received in the LGBTQ+ news cycle in June 2024, where we were interviewed for articles that focused on Corporate America mostly sitting on the sidelines when it came to LGBTQ+ promotions and advertising for Pride Month? Several right-wing blogs took some of these interview clips and focused on the idea that companies should focus on business and stay out of politics. We were interviewed on NewsNation TV about this very topic and countered that perhaps bad politics should stay out of business, such as when the Florida governor forced “Don’t Say Gay” onto companies such as Disney.

Whatever it was, immediately after June 2024, where we were engaged with, and shared, amazing LGBTQ+ pride content from around the world, we were shut down in a way that does not feel random and was certainly not the byproduct of simply a user-generated complaint about violating X rules. This was a targeted and deliberate shutdown from inside of X, of a network of LGBTQ+ profiles that had become a major part of unifying and amplifying LGBTQ+ voices across the US and around the world. Some of our strongest and most engaged profiles were outside the US, in places including India, Thailand, Latin America, and especially the UK. Some of our strongest themed profiles included sports, film, books and music, as well as both the transgender and the gay male “bear” community worldwide. Transgender voices in particular have been under attack daily, and we countered by playing our part in helping to ensure that those voices reached others in our LGBTQ+ community, while employing a successful strategy of ignoring the hate and the trolls, of which most of their negative comments simply faded away once they realized we would not engage with them.

Of course we’re hopeful that our #ILoveGay network on X can be restored so that we can continue to help elevate and amplify LGBTQ+ voices yet again. However, we realize that during this divisive and politically-charged year, we may have gotten too good in our reach and exposure on a platform that is owned by an individual who has made clear he would like to suppress these same LGBTQ+ voices. It might also be time to accept the fact that in this era of emboldened autocrats and big-tech kings, we’ll have to be even more creative in how we continue keep our voices alive and at the forefront now and over the next few years.

In the meantime, if you can, feel free to let our LGBTQ+ community know what has happened, share this far and wide, especially on X, where we know a lot of the LGBTQ+ community may be wondering what has happened to the #ILoveGay network and perhaps thinking they may be next.

To discuss this further, feel free to call us at (323) 963-3653 or contact us here.

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