The Economist is facing backlash after questioning if trans people should be ‘sterilised’.

The original tweet, which has since been deleted from the British publication’s social media profiles, asked alongside an article about trans rights in Japan: “Should transgender people be sterilised before they are recognised?”

They’ve now apologised, writing: “We deleted an earlier tweet which mischaracterised our article on transgender rights in Japan. The article explores in detail a question that was put to Japan’s Supreme Court.

“Our tweets often use a line from the articles they link to. We were wrong to use the first line of this article out of its context. Sorry.”

Trans activist Munroe Bergdorf accused the publication of sparking an “unnecessary” and “highly triggering” debate with the tweet, and said the apology was “too little, too late” for trans individuals who were affected by it.

“I can’t believe that I am reading this. I can’t believe that in 2019 these are the conversations being had in supposedly reputable mainstream media outlets about people like me,” she wrote.

“I can’t believe how every day it these conversations go from bad to worse. I can’t understand how one can look at this and not see the parallels of Nazi eugenics within this headline.

“I’m disgusted and appalled, but ready to fight and resist this hateful and dehumanising propaganda. Shame on you The Economist. This is how you open [the] door for genocide, not equality.”

Jamie Windust, editor of FRUITCAKE magazine and Gay Times contributor, called on allies to “shame” the publication and “offer solidarity and support” to the trans and non-binary community targeted by the media.

“The words by The Economist have more of an impact than we realise. It’s about realising that these statements legitimise the views of the masses who consume media in a short and non committed basis,” they wrote.

“It sinks into their brain and actively affects the ways in which they interact and treat trans people in their day to day. It puts so much pressure and stress on trans people because it makes us feel like the powers above are against us at all times.”

Parker Molloy, editor-at-large for Media Matters, called the tweet “garbage” and added: “There is absolutely no context where that is an okay question to ask, you genocidal shitweasels.”