A new report has found online hate targeted at the LGBTQ+ community has surged over 400% following the Parental Rights in Education bill.
The legislation has been dubbed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ as it has banned instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for children up to grade 3.
However, critics of the law have stated the language can be carried beyond the third grade and impact older students.
The bill was passed on 8 March and took effect from 1 July.
Since then, rhetoric that suggested queer people are grooming children has increased dramatically.
The report outlined tweets which mentioned the LGBTQ+ community alongside the slurs such as “groomer”, “predator” and “pedophiles” increased 406%.
Researchers collected a sample of 989,547 tweets posted between 1 January and 27 July that mentioned the LGBTQ+ community alongside words including “groomer” and “pedophile.”
Results concluded that an average of 6,607 tweets everyday used this language in the month that followed the bill passing.
This was a significant increase from 1,307 tweets the month before.
There was also an increase in the use of the hashtag “#OKGroomer”, which was used to insult queer educators, organisations, health care providers and more.
On the day after Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor that signed the bill into Florida law, the “OK groomer” tweets peaked with 9,219 total, or about one every nine seconds.
Tweets from prolific Republicans, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw were viewed over 48,000,000 times and said to have pushed the “groomer” narrative.
The report stated the grooming comments were spread by a “small group of radical extremists as part of a coordinated and concerted effort to attack LGBTQ+ kids to rile up extreme members of their base.”