The Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) has released a massive and in-depth study about the rampant spread of misinformation and lies about conversion therapy online. According to the findings, search engines and social media networks like Facebook and Instagram do a good job of weeding out misinformation when people search the phrase “conversion therapy”.
The problem, the study says, is that conversion therapy providers have started changing the phrasing and narratives of their practices. Now, terms like “reintegrative therapy” and “unwanted same-sex attraction” are becoming the norm within conversion therapy networks. Search engines and social media sites have much higher rates of failing to filter out fake news for those search terms. It was also found that search engines and social media allowed much higher rates of fake news in non-English languages, meaning that already vulnerable LGBTQ members are being put at an even higher risk by these companies not performing their due diligence.
Even worse, many practitioners of conversion therapy hide behind religious narratives or the context of wanting to “protect children”, making finding and weeding out these sites even more difficult.
There’s been a push in recent years to ban conversion therapy as doctors and psychologists agree that changing one’s sexuality isn’t possible and that the practice is nothing more than torture. However, to date, only a handful of countries, like Germany and Malta, have national conversion therapy bans, with Canada just now joining the list after it passed a national law that went into effect this month. Other countries, such as the USA, only have partial laws, meaning that many parts of America, like Alabama, Wyoming, and more, still allow the practice.
According to Forbes, another study found that every major conversion therapy organization is actually connected to three main organizations around the world: The Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity, who cites the teachings of discredited nutjob Neil E. Whitehead as their “proof”; Core Issues Trust, based in Northern Ireland; and Exodus Global Alliance, which is based in the US, Mexico, and Brazil.
GPAHE says that their studies have been sent to the major tech companies and that they will be following up with them on solutions moving forward.
I’ll leave you with this “first-person testimonial” from the Exodus Global Alliance webpage of a client who was “cured” of her homosexuality. The website says, “Change” for Wilna did not mean that she was “fixed” or “cured,” or instantly changed from being a homosexual into a heterosexual. Through fully and wholeheartedly surrendering to Christ, Wilna has chosen to practice and embrace chastity.” Um…sounds like the polite way of saying, “It didn’t work…”