In a welcome and overdue move, transphobic abuse and content will be subject to Twitter bans in the future. One of the main issues is the habit of misgendering or deadnaming trans people. Deadnaming is when the birth name of a person who has transitioned is deliberately used.
A spokesperson told the media: “Targeting someone because of their gender identity has always been a violation of our Hateful Conduct policy. We updated our Terms of Service earlier this year with more specifics on this type of speech to ensure our rules and how we enforce them are clear to everyone.”
In their updated listings it now states: “Repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone: We prohibit targeting individuals… [with] 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 Twitter bans come at a time when US police authorities misgendering or deadnaming individuals has actually hampered investigations into the murders of trans women. The habit has also been blamed on having a distorting effect on official figures which record violence against trans people.
In a series of Florida murders of trans women, in three separate cases the victims were not identified as trans until several days after their killings. Speaking on the issue, Gina Duncan of About Equality, a Florida based LGBT+ NGO, said: “By misgendering these transgender women, [it] disrespects their memory and impedes their investigations. All across the nation, law enforcement agencies have adopted protocols for responding to anti-transgender violence.”
With the US President proving himself to be far from an ally of the trans community, and violence towards trans women almost a regular in the news, the introduction of policies such as the Twitter bans are both welcome and necessary.
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