Twitter’s new harassment policies are standing up for all marginalized communities, including its transgender users.
The platform recently changed their hateful conduct policy to prohibit misgendering or “deadnaming” transgender people. They previously banned “repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone.”
The new policy, reportedly revised in late October but recently publicized, now says that “this includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals” or deliberately referring to a transgender person with the wrong pronouns or using their pre-transition name. It also goes into detail about threats and references to violence, specifically referencing sending media that depicts victims of the Holocaust or media that depicts lynchings. It also bans hateful imagery, including “images depicting others as less than human, or altered to include hateful symbols, e.g., altering images of individuals to include animalistic features.”
“Targeting someone because of their gender identity has always been a violation of our Hateful Conduct policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Verge. “We updated our Terms of Service earlier this year with more specifics on this type of speech to ensure our rules and how we enforce them are clear to everyone.”
Twitter has already suspended figures such as writer Meghan Murphy, who violated hateful conduct rules by repeatedly referring to a trans woman as a man, and far-right personality Laura Loomer for her hate speech. However, many are concerned that Twitter will not be so quick to censor every single user who violates these policies. They’ve also refused to ban white nationalist Richard Spencer, saying he isn’t considered in violation of Twitter’s hate speech policies and not a member of a hate group. Spencer popularized the term “alt-right” as a controversial label and is famously known for getting punched in the face.
So what’s the real tea, Twitter? Are you with us or against us?