Twitter made a “silent edit” to his Hateful Conduct Policyby deleting the guarantees it had offered to its transgender users punishing transphobia. Indeed, as evidenced by the non-governmental organization Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)in the section that prohibits assaulting other users with “repeated insults, stereotypes or other content that is intended to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category”, Twitter deleted a sentence that explicitly mentioned “intentional misgendering or the deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
Twitter removes an anti-transphobia law
To clarify: deadnaming it means calling a transsexual or non-binary person by the name they were given at birth, instead of the one they chose for themselves. Misgendering means attributing to a transsexual or non-binary person a gender or a pronoun that does not match her gender identity.
These practices are offensive and harmful because they deny the right of transgender or non-binary people to express their true identity and expose them to humiliation, isolation and violence. The law made explicit reference to “repeated insults”: it did not punish those who made a mistake, but those who used these practices to demean.
The Wayback Machine shows that the mention of misgendering and deadnaming she was removed on April 8. The day after Twitter announced that it had updated the policy to better explain how it identifies targeted harassment.
Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube don’t even offer the same protections for trans people that Twitter used to have. In fact, last year GLAAD recognized that Twitter and TikTok were the only two platforms in the group that had specific policies against deadnaming and misgendering of trans users.
Unfortunately, US associations report that this change is not a surprise with Elon Musk at the helm of Twitter. Musk introduced a policy that allowed several transphobic users and other controversial personalities to return on Twitter after a ban.
Also, there’s a personal issue for the CEO: lLast year Musk’s daughter, who is a transgender person, reportedly severed ties with her father.