Data harvesting and sharing by mobile apps is "out of control", University of Oxford researchers have warned.
Nearly 90% of free apps on the Google Play store share data with Google parent company Alphabet, the Financial Times reported .
Google said it had clear policies for how developers could handle data, and that the research had mischaracterised some "ordinary functions" of apps.
"If an app violates our policies, we take action," the online giant said.
Many free apps track behaviour across many different digital services, which lets companies build up a detailed profile of people using the app.
This data can include age, gender, location, and information about other apps on a smartphone.
The data can then be used for a number of purposes including targeted advertising, credit scoring, or targeted political campaign messages, the researchers said in a paper .
Revenues from online advertising are more than $59bn (£45bn) per year in the US alone, they said.
And many people are not aware how data flows from smartphones to advertising groups, data brokers and other intermediaries, Prof Nigel Shadbolt, who lead the research team, told the BBC.
"People [in businesses] are desperate to get as many eyeballs and click-throughs as they can," he said.
Researcher Max Van Kleek added: "I don’t think there’s any notion of control." Information pool
Data tended to get concentrated by big companies and their subsidiaries.
The researchers found that more than 88% of free apps on Google Play shared information with firms owned by Alphabet.
Nearly 43% of apps shared data with Facebook, while significant percentages shared data with Twitter, Verizon, Microsoft and Amazon firms.
News apps – and apps aimed at children – shared information with the largest number of trackers, they found.
Google said: "Across Google and in Google Play we have clear policies and guidelines for how developers and third-party apps can handle data and we require developers to be transparent and ask for user permission. If an app violates our policies, we take action."
Google added that it disagreed with the methodology of the study.
"It mischaracterises ordinary functional services like crash reporting and analytics, and how apps share data to deliver those services," Google said.
But campaigner Frederike Kaltheuner from Privacy International said that it has become "impossible" for the average user to understand how their data is being used, and to opt out.
"Companies track people… and they use this data to profile and then target people in ways that most of us would find intrusive and very surprising," she said.
"This is no longer about the need to collect data to show ‘relevant ads’ – this is about profit maximisation at the expense of people’s fundamental rights," Ms Kaltheuner added.
21 vibrant pictures of the biggest, sunniest Honolulu Pride so far Photo: Rescue the Perishing Facebook An Iowa man threw LGBTI children’s books into a fire on a live Facebook video.
Paul Dorr , who t0ok the books from Orange City library, chucked the books into the fire in the 30 minute video. He is director of Rescue the Perishing, a organization that campaigns ‘against moral evil to advance the Kingdom of Christ’ by standing ‘against abortion, the sexual revolution in general, corruption in the churches and colleges.’
He says in the video: ‘You won’t be peddling this one anymore. You should all be ashamed of yourselves and repent.’ Burning the books
After posting the video, Dorr released a very lengthy statement on his website.
Dorr concludes with: ‘continuing my 25-year stand for Christ I cannot stand by and let the adults – this time the shameful Orange City library board – bring the next group of little children into their foul sexual reality without a firm resistance.
‘I have check out, from the Orange City library, several of the books targeting 4- & 5-year-old’s which the Drag Queens will likely be reading to children here in Orange City this evening.
‘These copies owned by the city of Orange City, IA will not be part of those they get to read, as I am going to do what the German church leaders should have done in 1933. I am now going to burn these copies. God be praised!’
In this he’s referencing a story time to young children in many public libraries read by Drag Queens . These story times hope to highlight LGBTI issues. Continuing the statement
Throughout the statement, he mentions how sexual education, which he refers to as ‘sex talk’, has changed through the years to highlight the existence of LGBTI people and AIDS.
Then, he claims to fear the rise of socialist Nazism by pro-LGBTI people, while referencing Hirschfeld, the famous LGBTI research library burnt by the Nazis.
Recently, religious groups organized against the books . Over 300 people signed a petition to ban books containing homosexual and trans content in a public library.
This movement was led by Rev Sacha Walicord, who said LGBTI books are ‘pushing an agenda’. More from Gay Star News:
Courtney Act hosts the first season of The Bi Life | Photo: Supplied/NBCUniversal The multi-talented Courtney Act has the rare, but amazing ability to talk about serious topics, but also be hilarious at the same time.
In a recent chat about her new show The Bi Life , we dove deep on sexual identity, Brexit, but also the weirdest places she’s ever had sex. That could honestly only ever happen in an interview with the winner of Celebrity Big Brother UK.
Act who made it to the top three of RuPaul’s Drag Race season six, identifies as pansexual.
‘Which has nothing to do with having sex with cookware, which many people like to “ha, ha, ha” about,’ Act says.
‘I’ve never had an intimate experience with cookware… I’m not saying I’d count it out.’
The Australian-born Act (Shane Jenek), rose to fame in her come country in the early 2000s. She auditioned for the first season of Australian Idol in 2003 both as a boy and then as Courtney.
The drag queen made it to the finals of that series and even released a single called ‘Rub Me Wrong’ which hit number 29 on the Aussie singles chart.
Even though she didn’t win Australian Idol, it was clear a star had been born. Act’s dry sense of humor, talent and stunning have assured her success in whatever she tries. Courtney Act (center) hangs out with some of the contestants on The Bi Life | Photo: Supplied Pansexuality
Taking on hosting duties for the UK’s first ever bisexual dating show – The Bi Life – seemed a natural role for the reality TV veteran. Not just because of her talent but because of her work to raise bi+ visibility.
Act admitted that she constantly had to educate people about pansexuality.
‘Even with my best friend, I was talking to him the other day and he said “don’t you think you’re just a fag who’s had sex with a couple of women”,’ Act says.
‘And I’m like “yeah, that’s the problem”. When you don’t have any ability to tease out gay or straight, it is just two options.
‘I am attracted to different genders. I’ve had sex with women and trans people and people of different genders and I know I will again. So to me, that’s a textbook example of what being bi or pan means.’
Act explains she’d have those sexual experiences regardless of the labels.
Bisexual and pansexual suffer from poor mental health because of discrimination they face about their sexuality. That often comes from both within and outside of the LGBTI communities.
So having someone as famous as Courtney Act speaking up on behalf of you is a massive boon for bi+ visibility. Gay men are the worst
But Act is very blunt when it comes to who she thinks is the worst at stigmatizing bi+ people.
‘I really think gay men are really guilty of bi erasure because a lot of gay men used bisexuality on their way to being gay,’ she says.
‘Gay men like to have the benefit of other people’s empathy and understanding their own sexuality and I think there needs to be a step taken back to say “just because I took a step towards identifying as bisexual on my way to being gay, doesn’t mean that bisexual people don’t exist”.’ The Bi Life
The hotly anticipated The Bi Life hits TV screens on E! UK & Ireland on 25 October.
21 vibrant pictures of the biggest, sunniest Honolulu Pride so far Photo: FierceMum, Twitter Emma Watson recently came out in support of trans rights and now kids are thanking her.
Ahead of the Gender Recognition Act consultation in the UK, the British actress posted a photo of herself on Twitter wearing a white t-shirt. The shirt read ‘Trans rights are human rights’.
Many trans people at the time thanked Watson for the statement. The GRA consultation has subjected trans people to a deluge of insults and scare-stories, which many of them have found emotionally distressing.
So in thanks, trans advocate and Twitter user FierceMum shared an adorable thread from trans kids thanking the Harry Potter star for her support. Adorable photos in thanks
The tweet reads: ‘Trans children were overjoyed this week to see @EmmaWatson come out for trans equality. Trans kids around the world are having a rought time & visible allies matter. Trans kids& siblings from around world say thank you.’
What follows is an amazingly artistic thread. Trans children were overjoyed this week to see @EmmaWatson come out for trans equality. Trans kids around the world are having a rough time & visible allies matter. Trans kids & siblings from around the world say thank you (thread). #IKnowWhoIAm #ProtectTransKids #Butterfly https://t.co/e7VkrFyF4l — FierceMum (@FierceMum) October 22, 2018 From adorable Hermione to a beautiful Belle: By 11 year old big sister of trans girl, Australia pic.twitter.com/riwQWtcje2 — FierceMum (@FierceMum) October 22, 2018 From little trans kids offering their support to cis siblings offering their love: By 7 year old little sister of trans boy, Finland pic.twitter.com/v1CK7inAiL — FierceMum (@FierceMum) October 22, 2018 On a normal day we would have a bunch of pictures from American trans kids. But their families are busy defending their right to exist. Trans kids need allies. They need support. They need to know the world cares. #SupportTransKids @VanessaFordDC @the_debijackson @girlpodcast — FierceMum (@FierceMum) October 22, 2018 FierceMum also notes: ‘On a normal day we would have a bunch of pictures from American trans kids. But their families are busy defending their right to exist. Trans kids needs allies. They need support. They need to know the world cares. #SupportTransKids’
Well, Emma Watson proved once again how much of an ally she is. #WontBeErased Thank you for these beautiful drawings!! #ProtectTransKids #TransRightsAreHumanRights https://t.co/8NPDPFjT1f — Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) October 22, 2018 The Beauty and the Beast star wrote: ‘#WontBeErased Thank you for these beautifuldrawings!! #ProtectTransKids #TransRightsAreHumanRights’
Many people flooded the tweet with positive messages.
Children’s charity Mermaids wrote: ‘You have made so many children so very happy today. Thank you for standing up for trans kids, In a world where misinformation about transgender children runs rife, to have you as an ally lifting there [sic.] voices is amazing.’
Whereas another added: ‘Thank you so much this means the world to my little girl. She was so overjoyed when I showed her your tweet. Thankyou from me also for standing by trans kids they are all so amazing and deserve as much support as they can get.’
This is good news for many transgender-supporting families. Earlier this week, a leaked memo from President Trump revealed plans to legislate trans identities out of existence in the US . More from Gay Star News:
‘It is painful, it is hateful, and it will not go unchallenged’ says American Civil Liberties Union director James Esseks
Pussy Riot | Photo: Facebook The world famous punk and protest group, Pussy Riots, has affirmed its fight for LGBTI rights.
Speaking exclusively to Gay Star News, ahead of its appearance at the Miles of Love forum in Hong Kong, the infamous group said it would stand up for the LGBTI communities.
‘Fighting against sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and standing up for LGBTI rights is always in Pussy Riot agenda,’ Pussy Riot told GSN. Pussy Riot
Russia’s Pussy Riots came to international prominence as a feminist protest punk rock band. It became known for it guerilla music performances including at the Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. More recently, some members of the group invaded the pitch at the soccer World Cup final in Russia this year. Dressed as police officers Pussy Riots protested for the release of political prisoners. They also called for the government to allow public protest among other things.
In September one of its members, Peter Verzilov, was hospitalized in Germany. The group claimed he had been poisoned. Two member of Pussy Riot | Photo: Supplied Pussy Riots have always stood up for feminism, LGBTI rights and opposed Vladimir Putin. But now it is coming together with other activists to collaborate in making change at Miles of Love.
‘We believe that international collaborations are very important components of advocacy and activism, so it’s necessary to be able to travel freely to built bridges and networks,’ Pussy Riot said. Activists come together
Pussy Riot is performing at and participating at the world’s first Miles of Love in early November. The Miles of Love forum will bring together LGBTI activists and travel industry experts from more than 15 countries.
The forum will explore how the travel industry can work with LGBT+ communities for real and impactful change.
‘It’s a big honour for us to participate in Miles of Love – to meet human rights activists from different countries, to change experiences, to think together how we can make a world better place to live,’ Pussy Riot said.
Planet Ally and All Out are hosting the unique event. Responsible travel and LGBTI advocacy
Miles of Love plans to break new ground in exploring the interplay between LGBT+ issues and global tourism.
‘Tourism cannot achieve its full potential until all destinations are committed to treating their LGBTQ visitors and citizens with respect,’ said John Tanzella, President and CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.
Pussy Riot described why freedom of travel is so important to human rights.
‘Sometimes we are arrested or get fined after some of our actions, some of Pussy Riot members have had problems trying to cross Russian border,’ the group said.
‘It’s very important for us to be able to travel freely, but not always we can be sure that we are going to cross the borders without any difficulties.’ Miles of Love
The forum is happening from 2-5 November at the Eaton Hotel in Hong Kong.
Other highlights from the world first event include a performance from Cambodia’s first gay dance company, Prumsodun Ok & NATYARASA. LGBT+ activists from Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia will explain how tourism can help and hinder the march to equality.
Industry representatives will outline their work to bring genuine LGBT+ positive inclusiveness to their business approaches.
Tickets to the event are available here.
21 vibrant pictures of the biggest, sunniest Honolulu Pride so far Photo: Gage Skidmore, Flickr Donald Trump has finally addressed the memo that revealed plans to define gender based on genitals.
The leaked memo received widespread condemnation from people across the country. Protests erupted almost immediately after the news broke.
However, the US President has finally commented, stating he wants to ‘protect the country’.
Speaking on Monday (22 October): ‘We have a lot of different concepts right now. They have a lot of different things happening with respect to transgender right now.’
According to Reuters , after being asked about his campaign promise to protect the LGBTI community, he responded: ‘I’m protecting everybody. I want to protect our country.’ Intersex people are also at risk
The proposal in the memo – first reported by the New York Times – would see the administration attempt to change the definition of gender to male or female based on the genitals of the person at birth. It would then be unchangeable later in life.
This is also incredibly discriminatory to intersex people.
Without being able to define their gender identity, millions of transgender people would lose their protections. Brought in by President Barack Obama, transgender people are protected in healthcare, schools and the military.
The news has been devastating for the trans community in the States, as the community fears for their future.
Crisis support hotline Trans Lifeline have reported a massive increase in callers in the one day since the memo was leaked.
They wrote on Twitter: ‘Just today, we’ve gotten 2x the normal number of first-time callers and 4x the number of total callers.
‘Donations keep our Hotline running and our Microgrants flowing – give today and help us serve our community. Just today, we’ve gotten 2x the normal number of first-time callers and 4x the number of total callers. Donations keep our Hotline running and our Microgrants flowing – give today and help us serve our community. #WontBeErased #TransRightsAreHumanRights https://t.co/Hm2kKb1YgJ — Trans Lifeline (@TransLifeline) October 22, 2018 The memo will affect around 1.4 million trans people across the country. More from Gay Star News:
‘The current administration is trying to strip away my rights … my vote can change that’, said the transgender actress.
by Ralph Blackburn, data reporter, with contributions from Alex Taylor
Hate crime against the LGBT community is on the rise in North Yorkshire and the East Riding.
There were 55 incidents of homophobic hate crime reported to North Yorkshire Police in 2017-18, with a charity warning this is “the tip of an iceberg”.
The latest Home Office figures show the number of hate crimes recorded by the police between April 2017 to March 2018.
In North Yorkshire there were 55 incidents where gay, lesbian or bisexual people were abused or attacked due to their identity, rising from 39 in 2016-17.
Meanwhile Humberside Police says it’s dealing with more incidents of hate crime against transgender people, with the Stonewall charity saying the figures are “a wake up call”.
Home Office data shows 37 incidents were recorded by the police between April 2017 and March 2018, up from 25 in 2016-17.
Six years earlier, when this data was first published, just three incidents were reported.
Over the same period 150 people reported homophobic hate crime to Humberside Police, an increase of 42% on the year previously.
In July, police in Bridlington launched a hate crime investigation after a flag pole at the town’s police station, flying the Pride Rainbow Flag, was cut down and vandalised by a group calling themselves ‘Men of Bridlington.’
However, the charity Stonewall, which campaigns on LGBT issues, believes this is just a fraction of the true number of homosexual people who have experienced hate crime.
Laura Russell, head of policy at the charity, said: "No lesbian, gay, bi or trans person should have to experience homophobic, biphobic or transphobic abuse. These statistics are a wake-up call. While some may suggest this rise is due to increased confidence in reporting, we fear these represent the tip of the iceberg in hate crimes against LGBT people." The Home Office said it believes these rises are due to improved reporting, and do not necessarily genuine increases in hate crime.
Ms Russell continued: "From our research into hate crime, we know underreporting is still a major issue with four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes and incidents going unreported, with younger LGBT people particularly reluctant to go to the police." The Home Office figures show that over the same period there were seven incidents of transgender hate crime reported to North Yorkshire Police.
Stonewall’s research, carried out by YouGov, shows that trans people are more than twice as likely to experience hate crime as other members of the LGBT community.
Ms Russell added: "Although data from the Crown Prosecution Services shows that referrals are still low, there has been an increase in sentencing which is good to see." In North Yorkshire and the East Riding, the total number of recorded hate crime has doubled over the last five years.
This is partly because of improvements in the way crimes are recorded, but there have been spikes after events such as the Brexit referendum and the terrorist attacks.
The majority of hate crimes, reported to North Yorkshire Police, were racist incidents. The figure increased by 17% compared with the previous year, with 276 cases recorded by officers in 2017-18.
Hate crimes are defined as those perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic.
Five strands are collated in this data: race or ethnicity; religion or beliefs; sexual orientation; disability; and transgender identity.
Ahead of the release of the statistics, the Government published a refreshed strategy for tackling hate crime.
The Law Commission will carry out a review to explore how to make current legislation more effective and consider if there should be additional "protected characteristics" to cover offences motivated by, or demonstrating, hatred based on sex and gender characteristics, or hatred of older people.
Stonewall said it was “enormously encouraging” that hate crime laws were being reviewed. “Currently, crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity and disability are not treated equally to those based on race and faith,” Ms Russell explained. This has to change. We’re also pleased to see plans to develop police force training so officers are better able to ensure hate crimes, including those based on anti-LGBT views, are handled sensitively and are also properly recorded and monitored. This will help improve the confidence in the way the criminal justice system deals with LGBT hate crime.”
With Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights frequently becoming the topic of widespread national debate over the past few months, many have shown their stance on this controversial issue.
Now, according to The Malaysian Insight, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa stated that an e-book meant to spiritually guide Malaysians from the LGBT community back to the right path was just released by the government. Source: Sinar Harian Available on the Google Play store, the app named ‘Hijrah Diri – Homoseksualiti’ contains information based on theories from Islamic teachings to help users find “practical ways to overcome the issue of homosexuality”. An excerpt from the book’s description reads,
“This e-book is meant as an easily accessible guide for Muslims to follow the right path, in an effort to overcome the problem of homosexuality. We hope that you will gain knowledge and learn how to take the first step to the right path so you can succeed in the world and in the afterlife.”
“This is meant for those consumed with long-lasting lust, sins of the body, and sinful sexual desires. The writer aims to provide guidance based on personal experience as a case study and describes how he dealt with temptation and how to bear the burden of past deeds like committing sinful unnatural sex.” “This e-book aims to give guidance based on theories from Islamic teachings because Western psychology is limited when it comes to this taboo subject.” Source: Google Play “This is not about therapy or reparative psychotherapy, it is an intellectual approach based on building self-awareness, the soul, and behaviour by understanding and appreciating the beauty and grace of God.”
So far, this app has received generally positive reviews, with many users praising the developers for providing spiritual guidance to LGBT Malaysians.
What are your thoughts on this new e-book? Let us know in the comments below.
Also read: LGBT Lifestyle is Lawfully Wrong in M’sia But They Will Not Be Discriminated At Work
A ‘We Will Not Be Erased’ rally in front of the White House October 22, 2018, after the New York Times published news of an unreleased Trump administration memo that proposes a trans-exclusive legal definition of gender. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty) The Trump administration has branded reports that it planning a new policy to undermine trans rights “misleading.”
On Sunday, the New York Times published leaked details of a planned Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) memo that seeks to define gender as a person’s sex assigned at birth, barring recognition of transgender people.
In response, HHS spokesperson Caitlin B. Oakley has hit out at the “misleading New York Times story,” and, though she did not deny the crux of the claims about the leaked memo, she attempted blame the Obama administration for the new plan. Trans activists rally in front of the White House. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty) “We do not comment on alleged, leaked documents that purport to indicate the status of deliberations or the focus of the department,” Oakley said in a statement to the press.
The spokesperson continued: “The Obama administration’s broad definition of ‘sex’ was enjoined by a federal court on a nationwide basis in December 2016 and the Obama administration did not appeal. That court found that the Obama administration regulation was overbroad and inconsistent with the text of the 1972 Title IX law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex.
“The court order remains in full force and effect today and HHS is bound by it as we continue to review the issue,” the statement added, before concluding with a pledge to “vigorously enforce all laws as written and passed by Congress, prohibiting discrimination in healthcare on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, and disability.”
Buzzfeed’s Dominc Holden notes that legal points cited in the statement are incorrect.
The Obama administration had argued a civil rights law banning discrimination on the basis of sex, Title IX, could also be used to bar discrimination based on gender identity, in the absence of specific LGBT+ discrimination laws from Congress.
A federal judge knocked back the Obama-era interpretation of Title IX in education in August 2016, while the December 2016 ruling—from the same judge—issued a legal injunction against the application of sex-based discrimination protections in the Affordable Care Act to cover gender identity.
The HHS leaked memo goes significantly further than simply complying with either ruling, as it seeks to enforce a definition of sex across government that is defined by genitalia “on a biological basis,” effectively erasing the notion of gender identity. Trans activists rally in front of the White House. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty) According to the New York Times , the memo says: “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.
“The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”
The leaked memo has been met with legal threats from both the American Civil Liberties Union and LGBT+ civil rights organisation Lambda Legal, who have vowed to launch immediate legal action against the Trump administration if the policy is ever enacted.
James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, said : “If the Trump administration moves forward with these hateful and hurtful policies, they will once again be met with opposition in courts and in communities,
“The ACLU will fight back against any efforts to use transgender people as political pawns and continue to seek full equality for transgender and non-binary people.”
Diana Flynn, Litigation Director at Lambda Legal, said : “Let us be clear: For years, courts across the country have recognised that discriminating against someone because they are transgender is a form of sex discrimination, full stop.
“If this administration wants to try and turn back the clock by moving ahead with its own legally frivolous and scientifically unsupportable definition of sex, we will be there to meet that challenge.”
Emma Watson is getting drawing from trans kids across the world Transgender children are sending Emma Watson a wave of adorable drawings to say thank you for supporting their rights, after the Beauty and the Beast star and influential women’s rights advocate spoke out in favour of trans rights .
Last Thursday (October 18), the UN Women Goodwill ambassador shared a photo of herself wearing a “Trans Rights are Human Rights” t-shirt photo on social media, as proposed transgender rights reforms in the UK continue to face backlash.
Watson tagged transgender groups including children’s charity Mermaids in her message, sparking criticism from anti-transgender feminists in comments to the post and on online forums. But the negativity has been washed aside by the amazing response from trans kids.
The drawings were submitted by trans kids and their relatives from across the world, and shared on Twitter by blogger @FierceMum , the mother of a transgender girl.
Some of the drawings include tributes to Watson’s famous Harry Potter and Beauty and the Beast characters. A 9-year-old trans girl from Australia drew Watson as Hermione (@FierceMum) A 7-year-old Finnish girl with a transgender brother drew Belle, Hermione and herself. (@FierceMum) Others included rainbows and messages of thanks. A 6-year-old trans girl in the UK drew a rainbow for Emma Watson. (@FierceMum) A 14-year-old trans boy from the UK wrote a thank-you to Emma Watson. (@FierceMum) A 6-year-old trans girl from Spain sent a message of thanks. (@FierceMum) Others just took a more personal approach. A 7-year-old trans girl from Australia drew her family. (@FierceMum) Watson was blown away by the messages of support, posting a tweet to thank her fans on October 22 featuring the #WontBeErased hashtag—an expression of solidarity with transgender people used to protest leaked Trump administration’s plans to change the legal definition of sex to erase the notion of gender identity.
“#WontBeErased Thank you for these beautiful drawings!! #ProtectTransKids #TransRightsAreHumanRights,” Watson wrote in her message.
Mermaids was among those who reacted to Watson’s post, replying: “You have made so many children so very happy today. Thank you for standing up for trans kids. In a world where misinformation about transgender children runs rife, to have you as an ally lifting there voices is amazing!” UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, actor Emma Watson (KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty)
Watson’s most recent box office success, the 2017 live-action Beauty and the Beast , previously faced censorship over LGBT+ content.
The Disney film was temporarily banned from release in Malaysia and several other markets after the director revealed a minor character was intended to be gay. The film was only permitted to release in full after Disney made clear there was no explicit LGBT+ content.
In 2017, Watson won the first gender-neutral Best Actor in a Movie prize at the MTV Awards.
“MTV’s move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone,” she said in her acceptance speech.
“To me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.”
Watson added: “Empathy and the ability to use your imagination should have no limits.
“This is very meaningful to me, both to be winning the award and to be receiving it from you in such an inclusive, patient and loving way.”