“Twitter has been a catalytic factor in the mobilisation of various social movements speaking truth to power, including the LGBTQ+ community.”
Ghana has not prosecuted anyone for same-sex relations in years, but LGBT+ people face frequent abuse and discrimination, including blackmail and attacks, human rights researchers say.
In February, Ghana's newly opened first LGBT+ community centre was raided and shut down by authorities after strong opposition from politicians and church organisations. The move also emboldened a group of politicians who want to criminalise the promotion of LGBT+ rights in the country with plans to present a private members' bill before parliament.
Donkor said recent events had stirred up homophobic sentiment, with community members reporting increased attacks by the public as well as persecution by authorities.
This included the arrest of 14 LGBT+ people at a party in March who were accused by police of attending a “lesbian wedding”, he said.
International organisations, such as Amnesty International, Pan Africa ILGA and Civicus, and a host of global celebrities have voiced concern about the increasing intolerance towards Ghana's sexual minorities.
In March, actor Idris Elba and model Naomi Campbell joined 65 other British celebrities, designers and politicians in calling for Ghana's president to engage with the LGBT+ community. British pop star Boy George released a song expressing solidarity with LGBT+ Ghanaians and appealing to President Nana Akufo-Addo to respect their rights.
Twitter said the company's Hateful Conduct policy explicitly banned abusive behaviour towards a person or group, adding that the company takes strong action against such users.
But Danny Bediako from local LGBT+ group Rightify Ghana said he did not agree with Twitter that Ghana was a champion of democracy.
“There is a lot of homophobic material from Ghana on Twitter, including death threats where people say they want to stone or burn us,” said Bediako. “This promotes anti-gay actions and makes us feel more unsafe.”
— Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters