On Tuesday, the social media platform Twitter made several major changes to its “hateful conduct policy,” determining that users are now allowed to refer to so-called “transgender” people by their actual genders and their original, gender-appropriate names.
The Daily Caller reports that the original policy, first enacted in 2018, forbade users from engaging in “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” The new guidelines have removed this sentence altogether from the “Slurs and Tropes” section.
“We prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category,” read the original rules. “This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” The latter sentence is no longer found on the page.
The move is yet another representation of Elon Musk’s efforts to shift Twitter back towards a pro-free speech policy, as well as to increase transparency on the site, both of which were key promises he made when he first set out to buy Twitter last year.
Prior to the rule change, several high-profile conservatives were still facing penalties for referring to “transgender” individuals by their correct names and genders. The satirical site Babylon Bee was locked out of its own Twitter account in March of 2022 for mockingly referring to Richard Levine, an official in the Biden Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and a man who believes he is a woman, as their “Man of the Year.” Levine now tries to go by the name of “Rachel Levine.”
Later in the year, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk was locked out of his account for noting, correctly, that Levine had been married and previously fathered children before his “transition” in 2014. When Fox News host Tucker Carlson then posted screenshots of both Kirk’s and the Babylon Bee’s posts, he was also censored.
Other infamous examples of “transgender” figures who attempted to change their name include Pennsylvania State University swimmer Will Thomas, who now tries to go by “Lia Thomas,” and former athlete Bruce Jenner, who calls himself “Caitlyn.”