Tomorrow night in San Francisco, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation will hold its 23rd annual GLAAD Media Awards to honor “the most outstanding images of the LGBT community in the media.” And that ceremony will provide us with a first – an award to a social media company.
Facebook will be honored with a GLAAD Media Award, “for the company’s strong stand and leadership around bullying prevention as well as its inclusive options for LGBT users,” according to a blog post. Facebook is being given the award for a number of reasons – first and foremost for their part in the Network of Support.
Coming as a response to the slew of tragic stories about LGBT bullying victims committing suicide, Facebook announced that they would be partnering with a half-dozen organizations to form a “Network of Support” for bullied youth. That partnership saw Facebook team up with MTV’s A Thin Line campaign, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the Trevor Project, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). The goal of this network is to provide support and resources for the bullied and those that want to speak up and report bullying.
Other reasons that GLAAD notes for giving Facebook the Media Award –
- Facebook gave users the choice to list themselves in “civil unions” and “domestic partnerships.”
- The addition of LGBT resources information the the Help Center
- The launch of the “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” campaign with Time-Warner (which just hit Latin America this week)
The award will be received by Facebook Public Policy Communications Manager Andrew Noyes and Sara Sperling, who is in charge of “diversity and inclusion.” It will be handed out by a high school student named Brittany McMillan, whose idea for “Spirit Day” now sees millions of people wear purple and change their Facebook pics to purple in support of LGBT youth.