Locked out by Twitter for telling the truth
After preaching at my home congregation Sunday morning, I got into my car in the church parking lot to check my voicemails and messages. One of my colleagues had sent me the link to his new article, which I decided to share with my Twitter followers. To my surprise, I discovered I was locked out of my account for 12 hours for violating Twitter Rules.
But what I had done? What was the violation? There was no further information, no link to file an appeal, and no reference to an offending tweet.
Several years ago, something similar happened to me, but Twitter subsequently apologized, explaining that they had misunderstood my tweet.
This time, I was left in the dark, forcing me to search online for a way to appeal the suspension.
Obviously, this was not a serious crisis, and like many other conservatives, I knew my time on Twitter might be limited. Still, I was wondering what offense I had committed.
Minutes later, I had my answer.
I was informed that I had been locked out of my account for 12 hours because of this tweet, which had been posted on January 20: “Will I get punished by Twitter for saying that, in God's sight, ‘Rachel’ Levine (nominated by Biden to be his assistant secretary for HHS) is a man?”
Yes, that was the offending tweet. It looks like Twitter answered my question!
When biological truth conflicts with transgender activism, biological truth is banned.
When biblical truth conflicts with transgender activism, biblical truth is banned.
There was nothing hateful in the tweet.
There was nothing that would incite violence.
I didn’t even “deadname” Levine, referring to him as “Richard.”
I simply stated the truth. In the sight of God, President Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary for Health and Human Services is a man.
Someone might challenge the statement, asking what gives me the right to speak for God.
Someone else might claim to have a different perspective on God’s point of view.
And, of course, an atheist would dispute the whole notion of God.
Fair enough. We can have those debates.
But to block me for this tweet? Really?
I read the Twitter Rules carefully.
Under the category of Safety are listed these sub-categories: Violence; Terrorism/violent extremism; Child sexual exploitation; Abuse/harassment; Hateful conduct; Suicide or self-harm; Sensitive media, including graphic violence and adult content; and Illegal or certain regulated goods or services.
Then I read the categories of Privacy and then Authenticity.
What rule had I violated? Where had I sinned? What was my transgression? (For John Zmirak’s brilliant, satirical self-confession, see here.)
Then I re-read the verbiage under “Hateful conduct,” which stated, “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
So was that it? Was that my crime?
I dug down deeper into the rules, clicking the link for more information, which included this note (which, for some reason, used British English spelling): “We recognise that if people experience abuse on Twitter, it can jeopardize their ability to express themselves. 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.”
So that must be it. By simply stating biological and biblical truth, I had “harassed” a transgender person. What else could it possibly be?
This led then to the next question. Why did it take Twitter four days to decide I was guilty?
My only guess is that on Saturday, former governor Mike Huckabee retweeted my article about Biden’s radical, trans-activist executive order, including my twitter handle in his tweet. And given the size of his Twitter following, the tweet got lots of attention. Did this, in turn, draw attention to my account, and then my tweet?
Either way, the end result was yet another example of Twitter’s leftist censorship.
Ironically, the Twitter Rules page states that, “Twitter's purpose is to serve the public conversation. Violence, harassment and other similar types of behavior discourage people from expressing themselves, and ultimately diminish the value of global public conversation. Our rules are to ensure all people can participate in the public conversation freely and safely.”
In reality, Twitter is stifling public conversation and harassing people who believe things as basic as this: in God’s sight, a biological male remains a male, even when identifying as a female.
Not only so, but once again, we see how affirmation of radical transgender ideology trumps science, Scripture, and even common sense.
Perhaps I’ll get blocked the next time for saying that someone who identifies as a cat (or dog or dragon or the like) is actually a human? After all, wouldn’t therians (who believe in some way that they have an animal identity) fit in the class of “marginalized and historically underrepresented communities”?
And what about Twitter’s extraordinary double standards, as Bible-believing conservatives like me get bashed and mocked and cursed by the minute on these platforms, specifically for being who we are and believing what we believe, and that is somehow fine and dandy.
Over 15 years ago, when I began to warn that those who came out of the closet wanted to put us in the closet, I was roundly mocked. “That’s ridiculous,” I was told.
Who would have believed me if I said back then, “Social media platforms will block us for saying that a male who identifies as a female is actually a man in God’s sight”? Who would have believed that?
Levine may be a decent human being and a serious professional. But he is not a woman in God’s sight whether Twitter likes it or not.
In the end, Twitter may suspend me or block me (and countless others). But they cannot change the truth.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.