Twitter quietly removes policy against misgendering trans people
Twitter updated its content moderation guidelines regarding hateful content, removing a policy that prohibited the targeted deadnaming or misgendering of transgender people. Enacted in 2018, the policy explicitly stated that it violated Twitter’s rules to repeatedly and purposefully call a transgender person by the wrong name or pronouns.
Spotted by GLAAD, this unannounced change to the hateful content guidelines occurred in early April. The rest of the webpage explaining these policies appears unchanged.
Before the change, per the Internet Archive, the “Slurs and Tropes” subsection of the policy included the following: “This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” That line has since been removed.
Twitter’s guidelines still say that users may not attack others on the basis of their gender, gender identity or sexuality. Yet this removal of a clause that explicitly protects trans people is part of a continued trend in which Twitter has become more hostile toward LGBTQ+ individuals.
Since Musk’s takeover, the platform has disbanded its Trust and Safety council and reinstated the accounts of previously banned users like author Jordan Peterson and conservative satire outlet The Babylon Bee, both of which were sanctioned for the targeted harassment of transgender people. A report from GLAAD and Media Matters also showed that since Elon Musk’s takeover, usage of the anti-LGBTQ “groomer” slur has increased.
“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,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement.