The New York Times published an article by Media Matters editor-at-large Parker Molloy, Thursday, claiming Twitter’s new decision to ban users who “misgender” transgender people “promotes free speech.”
In the article, titled “How Twitter’s Ban on ‘Deadnaming’ Promotes Free Speech,” Molloy declared, “As a transgender woman, I find it degrading to be constantly reminded that I am trans and that large segments of the population will forever see me as a delusional freak.”
“Things like deadnaming, or purposely referring to a trans person by their former name, and misgendering — calling someone by a pronoun they don’t use — are used to express disagreement with the legitimacy of trans lives and identities,” she continued, claiming, “It shuts down conversation.”
“If we want more and better speech on this topic, even among trans critics, Twitter’s policy gives us the framework we need to reset our thinking. To date, we’ve put semantics over substance,” Molloy proclaimed. “We need to come to terms with the fact that we won’t understand what the ‘other side’ feels or believes, and maybe that’s O.K. But that doesn’t relieve us, as a freewheeling democratic public, of the responsibility to hash out thorny policy issues. By setting guardrails for that conversation, Twitter’s new policy points us in that direction.”
Despite supporting the new Twitter policy as a way to promote healthy conversations on social media, Molloy faced controversy in 2014 after she told another transgender woman to cut herself and drink bleach.
Twitter implemented its ban on “misgendering” and “deadnaming” transgender people this month, and has already banned feminist Meghan Murphy for saying “Women aren’t men” and “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” on the platform.
In an article for Quillette, Wednesday, Murphy explained how formerly “banal” facts have become “heresy — akin to terrorist speech.”
Despite Twitter’s attempts to curb “anti-trans abuse,” the social network banned the accounts of two popular transgender commentators, anti-SJW YouTuber Theryn Meyer and libertarian Michelle Catlin, last year.