Social Media Platform X Censors ‘Misgendering’

Social media platform X, formerly Twitter, reinstated policies that censor posts “misgendering” individuals.

In its “Abuse and Harassment” policies, X brought back a section called “Use of Prior Names and Pronouns.”

“We will reduce the visibility of posts that purposefully use different pronouns to address someone other than what that person uses for themselves, or that use a previous name that someone no longer goes by as part of their transition,” the policy reads. “Given the complexity of determining whether such a violation has occurred, we must always hear from the target to determine if a violation has occurred.”

X initially dropped the policy in April 2023.

Elon Musk said the reinstated policy is “just about repeated, targeted harassment of a particular person.”

“Using the correct sex based pronouns for someone is ‘harassment’?” Chaya Raichik of Libs of TikTok asked. “We’re being forced to lie? What about harassment in general? There are accounts who repeatedly target and harass specific individuals in an obsessive way. What constitutes ‘repeated’ and ‘targeted’ and why do only one group of people get this special treatment?”

The move follows X CEO Linda Yaccarino writing in a blog post that while “society’s progress” calls for the freedom of speech, the line must be drawn at “hate.”

“To drive humanity forward, society must empower people to express their thoughts, make up their own minds, but also draw the line at hate,” she wrote, emphasizing, “This is tough to do, but absolutely crucial.”

“For all the good, there’s also a point when information independence crosses a line too, and that’s hate speech,” Yaccarino added.

“Our mandate at X is clear: we must protect free speech, safeguard information independence while tackling antisemitism and hate speech. Through our collective technologies and human potential we can create a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone – giving way for information independence to be a force for good. It won’t happen overnight, but we must start now.”