Twitter Bans ‘Misgendering’ and ‘Deadnaming’ Transgender People

Transgender, intergender, LGBT -- the vocabulary of gender identity is evolving as the old dividing line between the sexes is increasingly being called into question
AFP/File NORBERTO DUARTE

Social media website Twitter has banned the actions of “misgendering” or “deadnaming” transgender users in an effort to stem what it calls “anti-trans abuse,” as part of its updated “hateful conduct” policy. The platform vows to permanently suspend users who “regularly” violate the policy.

In an effort to fight “anti-trans abuse” on their platform, Twitter has banned “misgendering” and “deadnaming” on their platform, Pink News reports. The act of “misgendering” refers to calling someone by the pronouns of their biological sex rather than those of the gender they have stated they wish to be, while “deadnaming” means to call a transgender person who has changed their name by the name they were given at birth.

Twitter’s updated terms of service, which were changed in late October, state: “We recognize that if people experience abuse on Twitter, it can jeopardize their ability to express themselves,” it goes on to state: “Research has shown that some groups of people are disproportionately targeted with abuse online. This includes; women, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual individuals, marginalized and historically underrepresented communities.”

“For those who identify with multiple underrepresented groups, abuse may be more common, more severe in nature and have a higher impact on those targeted.” The hateful conduct policy further elaborates: “We 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. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

Twitter has vowed to permanently suspend those that regularly violate this hateful conduct policy and those that are “engaging primarily in abusive behavior.” Users who are also “deemed to have shared a violent threat” will also be removed from the platform. While the new policy was generally celebrated by members of the LGBTQ+ community, some were skeptical with one user stating: “apparently twitter updated its rules to specify that targeted deadnaming and misgendering of trans people isn’t allowed but I’m calling it now that they won’t enforce this rule.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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