Using the pronoun he for a male or she for a female is now officially a reason for Twitter to yoink your account.
The microblogging giant has a history of suspending people for acknowledging biology, but now the practice is codified in Twitter’s increasingly labyrinthine rules under the hateful conduct section, which is starting to look more like a publisher’s style guide.
The policy states: “We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” [emphasis mine]
Misgendering is the act of not using a person’s chosen gender pronouns, of which there are dozens ready to go with any mood or phase of the moon.
According to Britain’s Pink News, Twitter’s new policy against misgendering (and also deadnaming — the act of referencing a transgender’s pre-transition name) was actually added in late October but it’s just now being noticed and becoming part of the news cycle.
LGBTQIAs on Twitter are celebrating the move.
One tweeted: “Excellent news everyone: Twitter has finally updated their TOS such that misgendering/deadnaming a trans person is against the site’s rules. Happy hunting.”
“Hunting,” of course, is a reference to the traditional social justice ritual of searching out people you don’t like and pressuring their services to ban them, often with hyperbolic reports. Many social justice activists believe misgendering is an act of violence.
On the other side of the aisle, @kurisuchaneko opined that “Every day we stray further away from free speech and the truth.”
I could paste another dozen reactions and pretend it’s content, but you already know how it goes. Right-leaning people and communities are overwhelmingly against censorship, left-leaning ones are overwhelmingly for.