Twitter now kicks against misgendering or “deadnaming” transgender people, alongside other harassment and abuse tactics.
Its part of a more general rewording of the hateful conduct policy, which now emphasizes the fact that certain groups amongst transgender people are disproportionately targeted with abuse.
The hateful conduct policy previously banned “repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone.” The new policy specifies that “this includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals” — i.e., deliberately referring to a transgender person with the wrong pronouns or using their pre-transition name.
The new policy includes more detail about threats and references to violence. For instance, it bans sending “media contents with victims of the Holocaust” or “media that depicts lynching” to another user as a common way of harassing people that isn’t formally a threat. It also bans certain uses of hateful imagery, which includes “images depicting others as less than human, or altered to include hateful symbols, e.g., altering images of individuals to include animalistic features.
The update received public attention a few days after Twitter suspended radical feminist writer Meghan Murphy, who had apparently violated its hateful conduct rules by repeatedly referring to a trans woman as a man and asking “what is the difference between a man and a trans woman?” Twitter also recently suspended high-profile far-right personality Laura Loomer, and its hate speech policies are under particularly heavy scrutiny at the moment.
But some of Twitter’s rules remain ambiguous. The platform announced a ban on “dehumanizing speech” in September, but it delayed implementing the change, and it declined to punish Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan for a tweet comparing Jewish people to termites.