Twitter bans misgendering and deadnaming in pro-trans move

Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey gestures while interacting with students at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi

Twitter has prohibited misgendering and deadnaming on its platform in an effort to curtail anti-trans abuse.

The social media company has changed its rules to ban the practices and has warned that any user who deliberately targets a trans person in these ways may face permanent suspension.

These offensive techniques—which involve using the wrong gender to refer to a trans person or a trans person’s old name—are often used on Twitter to insult and erase trans people’s identities and right to exist.

“We recognise that if people experience abuse on Twitter, it can jeopardise their ability to express themselves”

— Twitter’s new terms of service

LGBT activists rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall

Trans people have suffered high levels discrimination under the Trump administraton, including online (Drew Angerer/Getty)

In Twitter’s updated terms of service, the company states: “We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanise, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category.

“This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

The move, which was made in late October but only broadly noticed on the platform on Friday (November 23), also involved adding a section in which Twitter acknowledges that LGBT+ people suffer abuse online more than most.

“We recognise that if people experience abuse on Twitter, it can jeopardise their ability to express themselves,” the paragraph begins.

A woman stares pensively at her laptop

Misgendering and deadnaming have long been used to abuse trans users on Twitter (Pexels)

“Research has shown that some groups of people are disproportionately targeted with abuse online.

“This includes; women, people of colour, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual individuals, marginalised and historically underrepresented communities,” it continues.

“For those who identity [sic] with multiple underrepresented groups, abuse may be more common, more severe in nature and have a higher impact on those targeted.”

The social media giant has also created a new section of its terms of service, called “Consequences,” in which explains the actions it is pledging to take against offenders.

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