Washington D.C., Apr 19, 2023 / 15:50 pm
Without making a public announcement, Twitter quietly updated its policy on “hateful conduct” to remove its bans on “deadnaming” and “misgendering” transgender people, which had previously been used to restrict critics of the transgender movement.
Although the social media company kept most of its hateful-conduct policy in place, the update removed one line in the “Slurs and Tropes” subsection. The now-removed line had stated that slurs and tropes included “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
Under the previous rules, to misgender someone meant to refer to a transgender person by the gender that matches his or her biological sex but does not match the person’s self-proclaimed gender identity. This also included the use of pronouns that matched the person’s biological sex but did not match the person’s purported gender identity. To deadname someone meant to refer to that person by his or her birth name as opposed to the name chosen after the person’s gender transition.
Before this shift, the hateful-conduct restrictions had been used to ban or restrict users who were critical of the transgender movement. This included well-known figures, such as Turning Point USA Founder Charlie Kirk, who was suspended for tweets about Rachel Levine, the transgender United States assistant secretary for health. Feminist writer Meghan Murphy was also banned for repeatedly using male pronouns to refer to transgender people who transitioned from male to female.