Twitter moved one step closer towards its mandate as a platform for free expression this month, after the little blue bird removed prohibitions on “misgendering or deadnaming” from its hateful conduct policy.
The change was not announced but made quietly, and was subsequently noticed by online sleuths before being reported by NBC News. The original policy is still visible via Wayback Machine.
Prior to Elon Musk, Twitter had enforced the anti-free speech provision for five long years, under the subheading “slurs and tropes”. Users were deamplified and even deplatformed for using the name given at birth to a person who now identifies as transgender, or their gender pronouns that correspond with, you know, the facts of nature.
As noted by Not the Bee, the policy update “puts Twitter out of step with other social media companies that enforce insane policies and compel false speech, but it puts Twitter back in step with reality”.
The activist-journalist who penned the NBC News critique huffed that “Twitter responded to a request for comment with the Pile of Poo emoji, an automated message it now sends as a reply to all media requests.” In response to the media’s blanket negativity towards Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the new CEO initiated and humorously announced the auto-reply rollout last month:
Backlash from the wokerati was as predictable as it was dishonest.
CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Sarah Kate Ellis claimed that the policy update “is the latest example of just how unsafe the company is for users and advertisers alike”.
“Unsafe” is, of course, a euphemism for hurt feelings — though Ellis failed to clarify how exactly advertisers would have their feelings endangered as a result of the policy change.
Ellis went on to claim that Musk’s Twitter now plays host to a “barrage of disinformation and hate about trans people from right wing media personalities, politicians, and the extremists they bolster”.
Her words echoed those of BBC reporter James Clayton, who lived to regret an interview he recently conducted with Elon Musk on the same topic. Initially, Clayton told Musk he has seen a rise in hate speech on Twitter since the takeover, but under further interrogation from Musk, he failed to provide a single example and was forced to change topics:
Another wokester to condemn Twitter’s policy update was Nora Benavidez, Senior Counsel and Director at Free Press. She tweeted:
See how it works? Allowing people to speak more freely is “bad for free speech”. Real free speech means forcing people to utter words and phrases that contradict reality and that they themselves don’t even believe.
Orwell, eat your heart out.
Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon had some wise words to say about the saga:
He added, “The idea that trans-identifying people can’t handle even the slightest pushback is horribly condescending. If they respected themselves, they’d be fighting against policies predicated on their fragility.”
Failing that, perhaps they could log off of Twitter and get some fresh air.