StumbleUpon Responds to Social Media Homophobia Concerns

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the decision of social media sharing site StumbleUpon to assign categories such a “lesbian culture” to the “not safe for work” listing. stumbleUpon

As a recap: when you like something & click to share to the site, you are prompted to indicate if the site is safe for work on not,  not including “nudity or adult content.” You also select a main category from a drop down box. It was only recently that I took a peek at the “not safe for work” categories and realized that all LGBTQ content was intended to be listed there.

StumbleUpon had this to offer in response to my inquiry.

We know this is an issue and are actively working to update our content categories so that all LGBT content will be categorized appropriately. As a company we do not believe content about LGBT cultural and societal topics is adult in nature. This will be remedied very shortly.

That was three days ago. My definition of “very shortly” would be a week tops. However, the entire category list at Stumble Upon is ridiculous so they should most likely do a complete overhaul.

The problem is that this sort of archaic categorization of my “culture” causes actual damage for vulnerable people. It also makes the site seem hopelessly out of date. (Transexual sex, really?) And  the response itself was sort of ho-hum … the sender was Mike Mayzel, Director of Communications for the company. I learned that because I googled him – he didn’t even bother to include his last name or title or anything in the response. (And he used the infernal sign-off “best” which is the quintessential kiss-off IMHO)

Apparently, I am incorrectly using Stumble Upon rather than StumbleUpon. Forgive me. I’ve corrected that in this post.

So I’ll give them a reasonable amount of time before I visit the site to see how they’ve improved it. But now I’m also quite interested in how LGBTQ friendly the company is. Do they offer domestic partner benefits? Any LGBTQ recruitment/retention efforts? Support LGBTQ causes?

Most importantly of all, to whom will they turn for advice to make sure they get it right (hint: transgender and transsexual are not interchangeable)?


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