Twitter has updated its “hateful conduct policy” to remove protections for trans users, according to an announcement from GLAAD, the LGBT advocacy organization. And there’s already widespread speculation this has something to do with CEO Elon Musk’s estrangement from his trans daughter.
According to Wayback Machine, Twitter introduced rules in 2018 against deadnaming and misgendering but removed them on 8 April. Deadnaming is the act of using someone’s given name at birth, which does not conform to their gender identity.
Twitter’s policy used to read, (emphasis mine): “We prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. It includes the targeting of misgenderings or transgender deadnaming.”
According to the Wayback Machine, that last sentence has been deleted since about 10 days. Sarah Kate Ellis, President of GLAAD, points out that platforms such as TikTok and Pinterest have rules protecting transgender users. Twitter is unique in rolling back these policies.
Musk has a daughter who’s trans but reportedly thinks her worldview was warped by going to college.
“Musk has a dystopian view of the left’s influence on America, which helps explain his wild pursuit of Twitter to liberate free speech. He blames the fact that his teenage daughter no longer wants to be associated with him on the supposed takeover of elite schools and universities by neo-Marxists,” the Financial TimesWrite a story for October 7, 2022.
Musk told The News that, despite having at least nine kids, he enjoys good relations with them in a very cold quotation.
“It’s full-on communism . . . and a general sentiment that if you’re rich, you’re evil. It [the relationship]My relationships with the other people may not be as good, but they are still very positive. [children]. Can’t win them all,” Musk said.
GLAAD, the largest organization in the world at the time, was the very first to notice that Twitter’s policies had been changed. These changes will make it harder for the trans people who use social media.
“Twitter’s decision to covertly roll back its longtime policy is the latest example of just how unsafe the company is for users and advertisers alike. This decision to roll back LGBTQ safety pulls Twitter even more out of step with TikTok, Pinterest, and Meta, which all maintain similar policies to protect their transgender users at a time when anti-transgender rhetoric online is leading to real world discrimination and violence,” Ellis wrote in a statement published online.
“The practice of targeted misgendering and deadnaming has been identified by the ADL and other civil society groups as a form of hate speech. Social media companies committed to maintaining safe environments for LGBTQ people should be working to improve hate speech policies, not deleting long-standing ones,” Ellis continued.
Musk will speak today at the Possible Conference, which is being held in Miami. While leaked emails indicated that some big advertisers are already cautious to be seen near Musk, it is likely the disclosure that Musk will rollback policies designed to protect Twitter users makes brands feel even more nervous.
Twitter responded to questions on Tuesday morning with a poop emoji—an automated response set up by CEO Elon Musk. I’ll update this article if I receive any kind of response with real substance.