SAN FRANCISCO — Social media giant Facebook was honored Saturday night at the 23rd annual GLAAD Media Awards, hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Representatives from Facebook accepted a Special Recognition Award, citing the social media company’s efforts against bullying as well as the inclusion of various options — such as relationship statuses — for LGBT users of the social network.
Accepting the award on behalf of Facebook were Andrew Noyes, Facebook’s manager of public policy and communications, and Sara Sperling, head of diversity and inclusion.
Noyes, who acts as an LGBTQ community liaison between Facebook and LGBT groups, was an influential advocate within the corporation in launching the “Network of Support,” a panel of five leading LGBT advocacy organizations which take part in MTV Network’s “A Thin Line campaign” assisting the company to address LGBTQ issues.
“Facebook has set the bar high for ensuring LGBT people have a safe space to connect with friends and family,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick, in a statement.
“GLAAD is pleased to present this award to Facebook in recognition of its efforts to make their platform welcoming to everyone,” he said.
The award was presented to the company executives by Brittany McMillan, the high school student who founded Spirit Day via a Facebook campaign. The company was one of several leading corporations that participated in Spirit Day on Oct. 20, 2011, which encouraged employees to turn their Facebook profile pictures purple and wear the color to show support for LGBTQ young people.
GLAAD announced in March that Facebook would receive the award, citing its initiatives to advocate for LGBT equality.
In October 2010, company employees monitored a memorial page for LGBT youth after other Facebook users posted violent anti-gay images and homophobic comments. Facebook then launched the Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign which assists students, teachers, and parents to help prevent bullying.
Facebook also has recently added special instructions and content to its ‘Help Center’ which provides guidance on how its users can help an LGBT person who has posted suicidal content.