Social media can be a good resource for making connections, meeting new friends, and building a social presence online. However, these apps (like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, 2go, etc…) can be used by homophobes to target members of our community in real life.
Fake Profiles, aka Catfishing
Catfishing is when someone pretends to be someone they’re not using social media to create false identities, often pursuing deceptive online romances. In the LGBTQ+ community especially, individuals may use catfishing to extort money, commit bodily harm, or worse.
Keep your account on private not public, and only accept friend/connection requests from people you already know and can confirm the authenticity of their profile.
Facebook for LGBTQ+ Individuals
When joining an LGBTQ+ Facebook group be sure to note that it is a Secret or Closed group. The difference between them is that closed groups can be seen by the public and visible in search, while secret groups can’t. If you create a closed group, the name of the group, the members of the group and the description can be seen by the public—basically everything except the posts.
|If your group is currently…||It will be…|
|Secret||Private and hidden in search|
|Closed||Private and visible in search|
|Public||Public and visible in search|
It’s important to remember that even closed/private groups can be risky based on who runs them and who’s allowed to join them.
Facebook for LGBTQ+ Organizations
From the top of your organization page, click Edit Page and select Edit Settings to modify the page’s privacy settings.
You can choose from three options, two of which are private:
Do you want to make your Instagram private so that only approved followers can see your posts? From your phone, follow these steps:
- Go to your Profile.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Privacy > Account Privacy.
- Tap next to Private Account to make your account private.
And pleaaaase, make sure that you have two-factor authentication turned on for Instagram. More on how to do that here.
If someone is exhibiting inappropriate behavior on Instagram, you should report them via Instagram and block them:
- Tap their username to go to their Profile.
- Tap (iPhone/iPad/computer) or (Android) in the top right.
- Tap Block or Unblock.
- Tap Block or Unblock again to confirm.
By default, your tweets will be public meaning everyone will be able to see them. If you only want your followers to be able to see your tweets, Here’s how:
- Go to your Privacy and safety settings.
- In the Tweet privacy section, check the box next to Protect my Tweets.
- Click the Save button at the bottom of the page. You will be prompted to enter your password to confirm the change.
Be careful! Unprotecting your Tweets will cause any previously protected Tweets to be made public.