Twitter has quietly removed a policy which protected transgender users from deadnaming and misgendering on the social media platform.

Its hateful content policy was put in place long before Elon Musk’s highly publicised acquisition of the company.

Its ban on misgendering (purposefully referring to someone as the wrong gender) and deadnaming (calling a trans person a name they no longer go by) was introduced in 2018.

“We prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanise, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category,” the policy said.

Now, a line prohibiting the “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals” has been quietly deleted.

On 17 April, Twitter also confirmed that warning labels will only put on tweets that are “potentially” in violation of its rules against hateful conduct as opposed to being removed entirely.

“Anti-transgender rhetoric online is leading to real world discrimination and violence”

Commenting on the change, Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, said: “Twitter’s decision to covertly roll back its longtime policy is the latest example of just how unsafe the company is for users and advertisers alike.

“This decision to roll back LGBTQ safety pulls Twitter even more out of step with TikTok, Pinterest, and Meta, which all maintain similar policies to protect their transgender users at a time when anti-transgender rhetoric online is leading to real world discrimination and violence.”

READ MORE: Majority of anti-trans adults don’t know any trans people, study finds

Musk has more than 135.6 million followers on Twitter and has a controversial history when it comes to his posts.

“Pronouns suck,” he said in July 2020.

“I absolutely support trans,” he wrote a few months later, “but all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare.”