A new project by WITNESS Media Lab investigated videos of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people that were posted online. "We found hundreds of videos made not with the intention of exposing or prosecuting abuse, but rather, content that is captured, shared, and engaged with as entertainment," says their new ‘Capturing Hate’ report. Their research looked at 329 videos posted to online platforms. The majority were found on YouTube, but other sites like World Star Hip Hop, Fly Height and Live Leak, known represented a larger portion of the views and comments. The majority of the videos show violence against transgender people of color. "
For many people, these videos themselves are a sort of secondary act of violence," says Beverly Tillery, executive director of the New York Anti-Violence Project, in the video about this report. The vast majority of the interactions with these videos were "likes"; the comment threads reinforce a culture of transphobia and hate towards transgender people.
"These videos were captured, shared and engaged with as entertainment reflecting an accepted social and political environment that poses a real and imminent threat to transgender and gender nonconforming people," reads the report. It ends with recommendations for advocates, technology platforms, journalists and more. "This report serves as a reminder that there is an urgent and ongoing need to document the abuse suffered by these communities so that laws and policies are instituted to protect them."