December 9, 2019

A New Report From the Sunlight Foundation’s Web Integrity Project Documents Changes to LGBTQ-Related Web Content Under the Trump Administration

From the Sunlight Foundation:

  • Since President Trump’s inauguration, his administration has made numerous policy changes that may affect the rights and lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) people, including increasing emphasis on religious freedom and conscience protections, rolling back Obama-era protections for transgender populations, and reducing efforts to increase data coverage of LGBTQ populations in federal surveys.

new report by the Web Integrity Project (WIP) explores how these policy changes are reflected, or not, on federal agency websites. The report reveals how language and access to resources related to or intended for LGBTQ users on federal government websites have changed since President Trump’s inauguration. We are able to compare each webpage now to what it looked like in previous administrations thanks to the wonderful work of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, which regularly archives many government webpages.

Our study of language use on federal webpages shows:

In the aggregate, there have been significant but uneven shifts toward more inclusive identity language on federal webpages

Our analysis of almost 150 federal government webpages on LGBTQ-related topics, all of which were created before President Trump took office and continue to be live on the web, reveals that, under the Trump administration, federal government webpages addressing LGBTQ-related topics use the terms “gender” and “transgender” more and the terms “sex” less.

However, there is considerable variation between departments and within departments.

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Our examination of key case studies of changed LGBTQ-related content on federal agency websites identifies two key trends:

  1. The removal of access to resources about discrimination protections and prevention, especially for transgender individuals
  2. The removal of resources containing LGBTQ community-specific information

Read the Complete Summary Blog Post

Direct to Full Text Report: Identity, Protections, and Data Coverage: How LGBTQ-Related Language and Content Has Changed Under the Trump Administration
90 pages; PDF.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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