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Twitter Makes it Easier to “Deadname” Transgender Users

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arguing that their misgendering of transgender individuals — or just merely refusing to acknowledge transgender identity — was a form of free speech, which, when punished, forced other users to curb their own speech for fear of being banned or having their accounts suspended.As part of the changes to its hateful conduct policy, Twitter will now only put warning labels on tweets that “potentially” violate its rules against hateful conduct, instead of removing them from the platform.It also claims that offending tweets will be made less visible by being removed from search results or home timelines.According to The Associated Press, the social media giant appears to have deleted a reference to misgendering and deadnaming transgender individuals from a policy prohibiting “targeting” through “repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category.”The deletion of the references to deadnaming has been cheered by social conservatives and so-called “gender skeptics” as a victory for free speech, with supporters claiming it now allows transgender identity, and trans-related issues, to be “debated” in the public square without one side being silenced.The argument they employ — which aligns with Twitter CEO Musk’s attempt to rebrand the service as a “free speech” zone — is that those supportive of transgender identity and rights must now argue effectively in order to sway the public to their side, rather than having Twitter censors influencing the parameters of the “debate.”LGBTQ advocates have condemned the erasure of the language that — at least, in theory — should have helped protect transgender people from unwarranted harassment and deliberate.

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