Twitter Changes ‘Misgendering’ Policy 3 Weeks After MRC Study Showing Rise in Censorship

April 24th, 2023 9:17 AM

Elon Musk’s Twitter halted part of its hateful conduct policy that has explicitly been used to censor those who oppose transgender ideology on the platform.

On April 18, Twitter removed parts of the policy that prohibited the “deadnaming” and “misgendering” of transgender individuals, marking a partial victory for free speech.

The policy change, which was not publicly announced, came after MRC Free Speech America tracked hundreds of censorship cases of individuals who cited the scientific fact that there are two genders. A March MRC study revealed that Twitter censorship is shockingly on the rise after his takeover. 

The scathing study, which was released on Mar 30, 2023, found 293 cases of documented censorship from November 4, 2022, to Mar 4, 2023. The total tally marked yet another load of censorship cases than the 226 documented cases in the MRC’s

Twitter considers “gender identity” a “protected category,” in its hateful conduct policy.  Both the old and current versions of the policy note that Twitter “prohibit[s] targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category,” However an April 1 web archive reviewed by MRC Free Speech America indicates that the old version of the policy claimed, “This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

The platform implemented similar anti-speech policies to muzzle individuals who affirmed the existence of two genders or pointed out the biological differences. In December 2021, MRC Free Speech America tracked 100 examples of Big Tech censoring content that stated the scientific-based statement that there are two genders. Big Tech companies, and particularly Twitter under its previous regime, identified such content as so-called “hateful conduct.” Meta and YouTube labeled similar content as “hate speech.” LinkedIn, in contrast, used “bullying” and “harassment.”

In June 2022, MRC Free Speech recorded 156 examples of Big Tech censorship against users who opposed transgenderism, including well-known personalities such as Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk.

One of the most disturbing cases of transgender-related censorship came when Twitter suspended the accounts of The Babylon Bee, a satirical news outlet, for calling Biden’s HHS Assistant Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, “Man of the Year” in March 2022 tweet. The Bee, which is a member of the MRC’s Free Speech Alliance, refused to take the tweet down but was later reinstated by Elon Musk after his buyout.

Elon Musk, who has previously voiced support for transgender issues, promised to make Twitter a space where free speech thrived, warning that “failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Twitter at (415) 222-9670 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.