On Sunday, Twitter changed its terms of service to allow for the suspension or banning of anyone who engages in “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” They list this under “Repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone.”
To this point, Louis Farrakhan has not been removed for terming Jews “termites.”
This is merely the latest evidence that for Twitter, political bias is baked into the cake. Over the past few weeks, Twitter has banned right-leaning conspiratorialists like Alex Jones and Laura Loomer, and now they’ve banned conservative Jesse Kelly for some unspecified reason. Now, they announce that abiding by basic science — recognizing that men are men, women are women, and that sex is biologically based — could get you banned. Last week, they banned a hard-core feminist for stating that sex is biological.
Both the terms “misgendering” and “deadnaming” have no basis in reality. Gender itself is fluidly defined depending on the user — some social justice warriors use it interchangeably with sex, others suggest that it is a bundle of masculine or feminine traits particular to each person, which makes the word essentially useless, since every human being is individual. Misgendering, then, requires us to believe, at root, that subjective self-definition is the key to others’ use of pronouns — a standard for description that no one holds about any other area of human life (we do not use special pronouns for you depending on your self-defined race, your self-defined profession, or your self-defined age). That’s an imposition on everyone else, and a violation of basic biology, which defines people as sexually dimorphic. Those who suffer from genetic disorders do not invalidate the reality of sexual dimorphism any more than those who suffer from infertility invalidate the reality of the human reproductive system.
“Deadnaming” is the practice of referring to someone by their birth name — so, for example, referring to Chelsea Manning as Bradley Manning. Typically, we refer to people by their birth names up until the point at which they legally change their names, but we use birth names with reference to those people up to the point of name change. So, for example, Caitlyn Jenner won zero Olympic medals, but Bruce Jenner won many. Bradley Manning was convicted of espionage. Twitter doesn’t even make clear where the line is drawn: if you don’t legally change your name but expect the rest of society to abide by your new name, have you violated Twitter’s terms of service?
We’ll find out soon enough. Here are some tweets that could get me barred, for example:
Here’s the bottom line: Twitter is no longer a place for open discussion, if ever it was. It’s instead a place for “acceptable” opinion — acceptable being defined as stuff Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, finds worthy of conversation. That means that Twitter, like Daily Wire, is essentially a curated opinion site. And that, in turn, means that Twitter should be treated for legal purposes as an editorial outlet. Or, alternatively, Twitter could come up with a set of rules that doesn’t cram down politics in place of a politics-free standard of free discourse.