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Current Page: U.S. | Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Woman banned from Twitter for writing 'men aren't women' sues over tech censorship

Woman banned from Twitter for writing 'men aren't women' sues over tech censorship

Meghan Murphy (left), founder of Feminist Current, protests outside Twitter's Washington, D.C. headquarters in January 2019. | Screenshot: YouTube

A feminist journalist who was permanently booted from Twitter for tweeting such things as "men aren't women" and referring to a biological male as "him" is suing the social media giant for unfair censorship.

Meghan Murphy, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based founder and editor of Feminist Current announced this week in a press release that she is taking this action because of Twitter's "unconscionable" terms of service, and its false advertising of itself as a free speech platform.

Under Twitter's recently-instituted rules — which were not disclosed to users when she was kicked off — the social media company is allowed to ban people for practically any reason.

Murphy's account was shut down in late November after she referred to a man, Jonathan Yaniv, as "him." Yaniv, a trans-identified male who still uses his own masculine name, made news last year when he filed 16 human rights claims against aestheticians in Canada who refused to perform a Brazilian bikini wax on his genitals, arguing they had discriminated against him on the basis of gender identity. The Brazilian wax specialists said they did not wish to touch male genitalia and were not trained in performing such services.

Yaniv has publicly bragged that he got Murphy removed from Twitter.

Before Twitter's ban, the Canadian writer was temporarily suspended for an exchange with others on the platform in which she said "men aren't women," and for asking questions like "how are transwomen not men"? She was only allowed to come back on the platform if she deleted those tweets. 

Meanwhile, Twitter duplicitously permits accounts that post pornography and enable sex trafficking, and refuses to act on violent threats she and others routinely receive, she maintained Monday in a Facebook post. They do so as they hide behind Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, she explained.

In an email to The Christian Post Wednesday, Murphy elaborated that she is taking on the tech giant because, like it or not, Twitter constitutes a vital part of the public square nowadays and as such free speech must be defended there.

"Social media platforms control our access to information — it is where we communicate, debate, and follow news stories," Murphy said. "These companies and platforms have an incredible amount of power over what the public may discuss and have access to, which means they absolutely must be unequivocal in their commitment to free speech and free expression."

"We cannot allow corporations to become the thought police or the arbiters of truth, which is exactly what Twitter is attempting to do," she added. 

Twitter justified its decision to bar her from using the platform under its hateful conduct policy, a rule that prohibits users from "misgendering" and "dead-naming" — referring to the name of a person prior to undergoing a sex change, such as "Bruce" Jenner, who now goes by "Caitlyn."

Amid the push to finish what many radical feminists and others are calling an "erasure" of women's sex-based rights and female-only spaces by transactivists, Murphy, who is crowdfunding to pay for lawsuit expenses, hopes her efforts bring about accountability and transparency from the tech industry.

"We should all be incredibly frightened at the level of power and control social media companies and Big Tech have, and we must ensure they don't abuse that power," she told CP.

"We are in a very vulnerable position, thanks to our modern dependency on social media platforms. And so it's on us to force them to be accountable, and ensure their power doesn't restrict our speech."

She added: "This is very serious and an important moment. Some might say, 'Oh, it's just Twitter.' But Twitter has an enormous influence on politics, culture, journalism, communication, and legislation. People need to hang on to their free speech rights and retain democracy before it's too late."

Murphy is being represented by a legal team comprised of Harmeet Dhillon, a First Amendment lawyer who is a frequent commentator on Fox News; Adam Candeub, a former FCC attorney and telecom/internet law professor at Michigan State University; and Noah Peters, an attorney based in Washington, D.C. who's experienced in litigating against large tech companies.

Murphy's concerns with transgender ideology extend beyond the free speech issues set forth in her lawsuit against Twitter. 

Days after being kicked off the platform she explained to CP in an interview at the time that one of the reasons she speaks so emphatically about this is because of the threat posed to vulnerable women and girls when "gender identity" replaces "sex" in law and public policy.

"All of it is scary and dangerous. It's really dangerous to transfer men to women's prisons. We've already seen this happening, assaults have happened. Women and girls should not have to tolerate men lurking around in their change rooms, gawking at them or worse, assaulting them. Women fought to have their own sports teams among themselves so that they could play and participate," she said. 

"And that is all being taken away in just a few years, even less in some cases, all because men are suddenly allowed to claim to be women."

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