Bi Ban?

 

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BI BAN?

If you're at all familiar with issues faced by the bi+ community, you may have come across the term "bi-erasure". This is a type of biphobia or lack of bi+ representation such as insisting a bi man is "gay really" and just confused, characters on TV shows who are clearly attracted to people of different genders but never say the "B Word" and supposedly LGBT literature which lacks anything bi+ related.

This weekend I was greeted on social media by reports of bi-erasure on Twitter by them having blocked images, videos and news for the search term #bisexual and similar.

By Sunday night Twitter a short apology for some search results errors and that they are attempting to resolve  this. However, they did not state of this included #bisexual terms, nor has the problem been rectified nearly 24 hours later. The search errors are not affected by the sensitivity filters, nor are other terms like pansexual, homosexual or lesbian blocked.

This erasure can have a big impact on bi+ people and allies trying to find out more. Up to this point Twitter has been a great resource for finding resources, events and others like yourself with the use of hashtags in a world where bisexuality is often forgotten or underrepresented. An example of the impact is that #StillBisexual videos are no longer searchable. This is a campaign on Twitter by @StillBisexual which encourages users to produce and share videos with positive messages about being bi+.

However, the immediate engagement and protest at this erasure on such a popular platform has been encouraging. I was first made aware of the change by Leads City council's LGBT+ Community Hubs Twitter page and the story has been pick up by online news outlets PinkNews and the BBC as well as Bi Community News. This response from the wider LGBT+ community is certainly warming; I doubt we'd have seen this sort of reaction even just a few years ago.

So if you want to show your support and get involved, the more people tweeting or messaging Twitter to complain about there decision, the better! You can also sign an online petition here: https://goo.gl/Xi7zCi


 

 

 
Emily Metcalfe