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TikTok bans conversion therapy content

Rachel Badham October 23, 2020

Social media app TikTok has updated its UK guidelines to ban content which promotes LGBTQ+ conversion therapy, leading many to encourage prime minister Boris Johnson to speed up the ban of the practise. According to GLAAD, conversion therapy is any kind of practise which attempts to alter a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression; it has been widely discredited and known to cause trauma in those subjected to it.

In a statement, a representative of TikTok said the aim was to “remove content that is hurtful to the LGBTQ+ community by removing hateful ideas, including content that promotes conversion therapy and the idea that no one is born LGBTQ+.” Josh Bradlow, policy manager at LGBTQ+ organisation Stonewall, said he was glad the app was ‘stepping up’ on the issue.

People are urging Johnson to outlaw conversion therapy in the UK

The move has caused many to ask Johnson to ban conversion therapy in the UK after he previously referred to the practise as ‘abhorrent’ but has failed to outlaw it. Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch insists the government is addressing the issue: “Officials have been reviewing the current legislative framework to see how harmful and unacceptable practices referred to as conversion therapy may already be captured by existing laws and offences.”