Twitter has removed portions of its “hateful conduct” policy that prohibited “deadnaming” or “misgendering” transgender people.
The platform has prohibited using pronouns matching a transgender person’s biological sex since 2018.
The policy appears to have been changed on April 8. An archived version of the page from April 7 still stated that the rules “prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
The last sentence has since been removed. Instead, the policy now states that the platform prohibits “targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. In some cases, such as (but not limited to) severe, repetitive usage of slurs, or racist/sexist tropes where the context is to harass or intimidate others, we may require Tweet removal. In other cases, such as (but not limited to) moderate, isolated usage where the context is to harass or intimidate others, we may limit Tweet visibility as further described below.”
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, GLAAD, is outraged by the changes and claims that it makes people who identify as transgender “unsafe.”
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. https://t.co/ChR1aQRf95
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) April 18, 2023
“Twitter’s hateful conduct policy protected trans people from targeted misgendering and deadnaming for close to five years, and now they mysteriously removed it without a word,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “This is unacceptable in any climate, and doubly unacceptable when you look at the barrage of disinformation and hate about trans people from right wing media personalities, politicians, and the extremists they bolster.”
While the policy has been changed, it is unclear if people are now free to deadname and misgender without risk of losing their account. Users still have the option to report someone for “misgendering or deadnaming” a person or group of people.