A huge step in the fight against anti-LGBTQ+ hate! 

The UK’s communication regulator Ofcom has widened its definition of hate speech by including prejudice against the transgender community.

The updated rules state: “All forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on intolerance on the grounds of disability, ethnicity, social origin, gender, sex, gender reassignment, nationality, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, colour, genetic features, language, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth or age.”

The inclusive change was made after adjustments were implemented to the Audiovisual Media Services Regulation (AVMS) 2020.

Ofcom opened up about the changes in a statement, saying: “The importance of freedom of expression in relation to political matters and content that is in the public interest is central to Ofcom’s application of the code and the proposed amendment does not change this.”

The new updates took effect on the New Years Eve.

Entertainment giant ViacomCBS, which owns Channel 5, showed concern about the new updates saying that Ofcom needs to consider the context when determining hate speech.

A spokesperson for Ofcom elaborated on the rules and regulations, stating: “These are characteristics referred to in Article 21 of the European Charter on Fundamental Freedoms, and Ofcom is required by law to prohibit hate speech against any group covered by the characteristics set out in the Charter.”

They continued: “We would consider any complaints about potential incitement against those characteristics taking into account the facts of an individual case. As stated in our consultation, any consideration would also take into account freedom of expression.”