The move was made quietly last month, but has only now just been noticed.
Social media platform Twitter has updated its terms and conditions to crack down harder on people displaying anti-trans bigotry. The new rule comes under the “Repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes or other content that degrades someone,” part of reporting an account.
The rule came into force in last October, however users only discovered the change last night. And in the new terms and conditions, it highlights how LGBTQ people suffer from a lot of online abuse.
“We recognise that if people experience abuse on Twitter, it can jeopardise their ability to express themselves,” it says. “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.
“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 new updated rule now reads: “We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category.
“This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
Many people welcomed the move, but some questioned whether the rule itself would be enforced.
— Jess Epps (@jessica_emily90) November 24, 2018
if ur mad twitter is letting u get reported for deadnaming and misgendering well that just proves ur a piece of shit
— 𝗮𝗯𝗶 (@lgbtodroki) November 23, 2018
Attention to all those over at Mumsnet, Twitter now prohibits misgendering and deadnaming, along with several of you other tactics to attack trans women. So by e bye socks.. pic.twitter.com/L77cye9uOa
— Theresa Davis (@helresa) November 23, 2018
like they’ll ever enforce it seriously
— 🎄 happy hollandaise 🎄 rt my pinned!! (@freaquin) November 23, 2018
Hopefully the new rule will work as advertised, however, back in August Drag Race star Aja, who identifies as gender non-binary, was banned from Twitter after they called out a transphobe.
Making the post on their Facebook account, Aja wrote: “I got banned from twitter because I called a a girl from a group of Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists who were all saying my gender identity wasn’t real a senseless cow.
“But twitter didn’t ban the 200-300 people literally devalidating my non-binary identity. But I’m here like I might be blocked but guess what I still identify the same way, I am well validated and alive and happy and nobody can take that.
“Also feminism can be practiced by anyone who believes in equality amongst men and women. Because people keep telling me I can’t be a feminist and that trans women aren’t included in feminism. A vagina does not make a woman and neither do breasts. That social construct of an idea is extremely over. But hey maybe it’s just me.”
Aja’s Twitter account was later reinstated.