The best-selling gay magazine that has dominated the news since the 1990s has become the latest target of online abuse, with gay writers fearing for their safety after a new wave of online harassment.
A total of four gay writers and publishers have reported being the target of homophobic hate speech on Twitter, according to a Guardian analysis of social media platforms and news reports.
The most popular titles in the LGBT community in the US and the UK have reported receiving more than 3,000 abuse messages, including threats of rape and murder.
One writer told the Guardian she was contacted via Twitter, while another was the target to a tweet from a Twitter account impersonating a journalist who told her to “stay home” and warned that the magazine was going to be closed down.
Another writer told BuzzFeed News she was harassed by a Twitter user who claimed to be a journalist.
BuzzFeed News is publishing the names of the journalists who have received abusive messages in full for fear of retribution from online trolls.
One journalist said she had been threatened by an anonymous Twitter user, who claimed she was “making up” the story that the author was “acting out” in a “gay” way, and that he had “tried to get me to kill myself”.
She had been following the writer for a year when she first reported the threats on Twitter to the company’s internal investigation team.
The threats against the writer come amid an escalating debate about the use of online platforms to attack and threaten LGBT people.
The LGBT community has long suffered from online harassment, but the recent wave of hate speech comes amid a shift away from traditional media outlets and towards social media and social media abuse.
“The LGBT community is in crisis, and we need to take the next steps to prevent it,” said Alexey Golub, the head of the independent, pro-LGBT publication Vedomosti.
“We are the fastest-growing part of the population in the world, and it is our duty to stand up and fight.”
He called for a “new, modern day gay rights movement”, with an emphasis on gay media.
Vedomusti is a leading LGBT news and opinion outlet.
Vosstoy, a leading gay Russian political columnist, has received more than 700 threats, including death threats.
He said he was targeted after writing an opinion piece on a pro-Russia anti-LGBT bill passed in the Ukrainian parliament.
“I had a very specific question: ‘Why is this happening to you?’,” he said.
“And I got threats and death threats.”
“They said I was making fun of Russian men.
‘Don’t do it!’
And they said they were going to kill me.”
The author of the anti-gay legislation, Vyacheslav Vlasov, a Russian citizen living in the UK, said he had been the target since December 2015.
He told BuzzFeed the threats were part of a wider campaign targeting the LGBT and human rights community, which he said had become “the biggest source of threats”.
Vlasowy said Vedomesti was investigating the tweets, which were sent on the platform between November 2015 and June 2017.
“It is a terrible attack on our profession and on our humanity,” he told BuzzFeed.
“This is a direct attack on us.
We cannot keep silent about this. “
Our writers are targeted by hate-filled trolls on social media.
We have no way to know whether they are real or not. “
These threats come from Russia, which is the country that invented and codified homophobia.
“For us, it is about survival.” “
One journalist described the threats as “a form of intimidation”, saying she had received more hate mail than she can count. “
For us, it is about survival.”
One journalist described the threats as “a form of intimidation”, saying she had received more hate mail than she can count.
She also described a man who claimed he was the creator of the fictional account @Vyachesz, and whose tweets included “homosexual propaganda”.
I don’t know. “
What would happen if I got murdered?
I don’t know.
What if I was attacked by a mob of 100,000 people?”
In a tweet, @Vytosz claimed he had written the account as a joke to “get a reaction”.
The account is now private, and Vlasowski has said he did not want to discuss the Twitter threats with BuzzFeed News.
Vlasowitz said the threats are “totally unacceptable”.
“This kind of behaviour has nothing to do with the rights of writers or the freedom of expression of their works, but is an attempt to damage and harass LGBT people,” he wrote.
“Hate crimes and violent threats against LGBT people should never be tolerated.
This has no place in a free and open society.”
Vlasowicz said the online harassment was “not just the direct result of the bill, but also the indirect effect