5 min

Ready to change their minds

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About the project

Note: This project was conducted as part of Artellence and, together with similar projects, became a prerequisite for the creation of the NGO Association for the Development of Big Data and Information Technology of Ukraine with the involvement of experts who directly implemented this project.

We analyzed comments and posts of Ukrainian Facebook segment regarding its attitude to LGBTQ+ persons using artificial intelligence by request of public organization “Insight”.

The purpose of the study is to determine the tone of public opinion about the LGBTQ+ community. Find out what news and topics prevail in communication about LGBTQ+ people. Based on this research, organizations working with the LGBTQ+ community can create a number of activities to increase the level of tolerance in Ukraine.

Why this is important?

Such slices of public opinion should be studied so that measures to support the LGBTQ+ community can have a more targeted impact. This study helps to understand the main concerns and trigger points of the society regarding LGBTQ+ people.

Research methodology

The analysis included posts and comments on the Ukrainian segment of Facebook pages and accounts with 10+ thousand followers.

Research period: March 2020 to May 2021.

General data:

  • the analysis was based on 11.9 thousand comments;
  • automatic markup of comments using algorithms allows an error of up to 20%;
  • among the posts that were analyzed, almost 4.9 thousand targeted posts were identified out of 85.8 thousand comments on them from Ukrainian residents.

Results of the study

In terms of tone:

  • neutral comments (those people who do not have a clear position) have the largest share - 46%;
  • every fifth comment (21%) is an expression of support for the LGBTQ+ community;
  • analysts classified positive/negative comments as those that express a person's unequivocal position;
  • comments that did not demonstrate an unambiguous sentiment were classified as neutral.

The following topics prevail:

  • this is the most popular topic in the comments, both by those who support LGBTQ+ rights and their opponents (over 2,000 comments);
  • denial of the existence of violations of LGBTQ+ rights and any problems with the rights of LGBTQ+ people in Ukraine;
  • rejecting the existence of human rights for all and emphasizing that there are "normal people" who deserve these rights and "abnormal people" who do not deserve any rights. LGBTQ+ people are considered to be the latter;
  • people doubt the need for human rights in Ukraine and their existence in general;
  • disassociation from the existence of the problem of violation of equality for LGBTQ+ people;
  • religious and religion-related issues are discussed, which lead the discussion to a completely different subject, far from the human rights and their violations;
  • there are few clear and reasoned points of view in such comments;
  • mostly people focus on the "sin is not a sin" debate;
  • positive statements are most often related to religious dogmas and regulations — the very approach to the assessment of homosexuality by various denominations and churches is problematized, emphasizing the importance of the existence of a secular state and past atrocities committed by various churches and religious institutions against LGBTQ+ people, emphasizing that religion is about love, forgiveness, and acceptance, not hatred and violence;
  • negative comments focused on quoting the Bible and considering homosexuality a sin;
  • there is a negative labeling of such important topics as sex, sex education, access to information about safe sex, gender, sex, gender equality, LGBTQ+, etc. Almost everything that is written about these topics in a negative context is associated with a decline in morality and immoral actions or an immoral lifestyle;
  • every fifth comment on religion is positive (20%), with almost 40% of neutral comments, which significantly outnumbers the number of those who are clearly negative about LGBTQ+ people in the context of religion;
  • the topic of children is intersectional, as the issues raised in the comments are mostly not about LGBTQ+ people, but about related topics;
  • discussions on sex education in schools, access to contraception, changes in the curriculum, anti-discrimination expertise of textbooks, and children's right to access information in general;
  • expressing emotions about a variety of reforms in various spheres of life: bullying, juvenile justice, sex education, domestic violence, etc;
  • topics are often not related to LGBTQ+ issues;
  • children are presented as an object that cannot make decisions or have any rights. LGBTQ+ people are viewed as an ideology that can destroy the established conservative patriarchal order. The main theme of such statements is prohibition;
  • positive comments are mostly scattered in the segment of reformism and modern values, where the child is no longer just an object but a subject of interaction that has rights;
  • people who comment positively on the topic of children write about the need to protect children from bullying, violence, and self-harm through anti-discrimination norms and to provide children with access to the information they need;
  • the most frequent negative comments are stereotypes without calls for violence;
  • more than half of the comments were not related to any topic, as often in online conversations, individual comments do not have a clear, complete thought.


  • although the percentage of negative comments is rather high (33%), a significant share of them are expressions of disagreement. This category also includes comments that support stereotypes and deny facts;
  • among all the negative comments, biased attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people account for about 80%. 10% of the negative comments contain insults.
  • threats of direct violence and homicide in Facebook comments are quite rare;
  • stereotypes.


1. Publish this research as a snapshot of public opinion
2. Using the data from the study, to take additional measures to increase the level of tolerance of the Ukrainian population for the LGBTQ+ community


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