The Associated Press is reporting that Twitter quietly phased out a policy meant to protect trans users against targeted deadnaming and misgendering.
Introduced in 2018, the policy included the acts of purposefully identifying a trans user by using their pre-transition name or misgendering them as harassment. This week, the company's hateful-conduct policy was altered to remove that protection.
The policy previously read, “We prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanise [sic], degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.
Related: Elon Musk Is Already Turning Twitter Into a Hate Speech Salon
It's unclear exactly when the change was made, but some outlets have traced back the website edit to around April 7 or 8.
“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,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement.
Even before this change, and as early as late last year, there's been concern that trans users might be particularly vulnerable as hate speech rises on Twitter and layoffs have meant less oversight on content overall. Previously, trans users gathered on Twitter and found communities there, but now there's concern that marginalized groups including disabled users and even Black Twitter might need to look elsewhere as Twitter falls apart.
For those that were hoping Twitter would get its act together in 2023 and return to its glory days, that seems unlikely at this point.
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