Twitter bans 'deadnaming,' 'misgendering' trans-identified persons in updated 'hateful conduct' policy

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Twitter is now banning users from tweeting the birth names of trans-identified persons or referring to them by using biologically accurate pronouns, labeling such interactions as “hateful.”

In an update to its “hateful conduct” policy issued last month, the social media giant elaborated on what it considers to be prohibited “non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone.”

“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,” the policy reads. “This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

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“Deadnaming” refers to the act of referring to a person by their legal name given to them at birth when that person has selected a new name consistent with the gender identity that they wish to be referred. Meanwhile, “misgendering” refers to the use of a person’s biological pronoun rather than their preferred trans-affirming pronoun.

The policy comes as LGBT activists have declared that name changes are sometimes the first step on the road to transitioning for people struggling with gender dysphoria. Pro-LGBT advocates have labeled deadnaming and misgender akin to “abuse” and “violence.”

“We are committed to combating abuse motivated by hatred, prejudice or intolerance, particularly abuse that seeks to silence the voices of those who have been historically marginalized,” Twitter's official statement adds. “For this reason, we prohibit behavior that targets individuals with abuse based on protected category.”

Twitter explained that it will take action against “behavior that targets individuals or an entire protected category with hateful conduct.”

“Targeting can happen in a number of ways, for example, mentions, including a photo of an individual, referring to someone by their full name, etc.,” the policy states. “When determining the penalty for violating this policy, we consider a number of factors including, but not limited to the severity of the violation and an individual’s previous record of rule violations.”

The policy states that if an account is “engaging primarily in abusive behavior,” Twitter will “permanently suspend the account upon initial review.”

According to Pink News, the policy was first instituted in October but has gained notice more recently on social media with critics speaking out about the policy and supporters praising it.

“So Twitter is now banning people for stating the basic scientific fact that men are men and women are women and that men cannot become women simply by thinking themselves so. “Twitter vs. reality,” popular conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire, wrote on Twitter.

Earlier this month, Twitter permanently banned Canadian feminist writer Meghan Murphy, who holds two degrees in women’s studies, citing several of her posts that the company claims violated its hateful conduct policy.

Murphy’s troubles with the platform began in August when her account was locked over tweets she posted that were critical of transgender activist and dominatrix Lisa Kreut after Kreut was asked to speak at the Woman’s March in Vancouver. Her account was restored when she agreed to remove the offending tweet.

Her account was again suspended in November over two tweets. One said that “Women aren’t men,” and another wondered “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?”

“What is insane to me, though, is that while Twitter knowingly permits graphic pornography and death threats on the platform (I have reported countless violent threats, the vast majority of which have gone unaddressed), they won’t allow me to state very basic facts, such as ‘men aren’t women,’” Murphy wrote in an op-ed last week. “This is hardly an abhorrent thing to say, nor should it be considered ‘hateful’ to ask questions about the notion that people can change sex, or ask for explanations about transgender ideology.”

"The fact that I was banned was based on a rule they completely invented after my tweet and didn’t inform anyone about," Murphy told One America News on Monday. "Beyond that, people should be concerned that Twitter is dictating what we are allowed to say and what we are allowed to talk about."

The Christian Post reached out to Murphy for comment on the new Twitter policy. A statement is pending. 

Brandon Showalter contributed to this report.

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