(LifeSiteNews) — Twitter has removed its policy defining the use of biologically accurate language to describe “transgender” people as “hateful conduct” in the latest of current owner Elon Musk’s efforts to transform the platform.
In October 2018, the previous management of the social network amended its Hateful Conduct Policy to “prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category,” including “targeted misgendering or deadnaming” of people who identify as “transgender.” Punishment ranged from being asked to remove “violating content” and a “period of time in read-only mode before [violators] can Tweet again,” to “permanent account suspension” for repeat violations.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Twitter, which tech mogul Musk purchased last year with the stated goal of making it more friendly to free expression and differing viewpoints, has now quietly removed the deadnaming language, as well as announced a softer approach to tweets otherwise deemed to violate its “hateful conduct” rules in other ways. Now it will put warning labels on “potentially” violative content as well as limit its reach, rather than taking it down without notifying the poster.
“Twitter’s decision to covertly roll back its longtime policy is the latest example of just how unsafe the company is for users and advertisers alike,” complained Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the LGBT pressure group GLAAD. “This decision to roll back LGBTQ safety pulls Twitter even more out of step with TikTok, Pinterest, and Meta, which all maintain similar policies to protect their transgender users at a time when anti-transgender rhetoric online is leading to real world discrimination and violence.”
The old policy was criticized for stifling discussion of transgender issues and stigmatizing dissent from gender-fluid orthodoxy, in line with the left-wing biases of the platform’s previous owners. Conservatives have long accused progressives of abusing the concept of “hate speech” as a pretext for legally and/or culturally suppressing truthful, non-hateful facts and information with which they disagree.
After the acquisition, Musk set to work on a number of reforms, including laying off more than half the staff, replacing fact-checkers with a user-driven Community Notes feature, and releasing troves of information about the prior management’s censorship activities.