Twitter has quietly removed a policy against the “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals,” raising concerns that the Elon Musk-owned platform is becoming less safe for marginalized groups.
Twitter enacted the policy against deadnaming, or using a transgender person’s name before they transitioned, as well as purposefully using the wrong gender for someone as a form of harassment, in 2018.
On Monday, Twitter also said it will only put warning labels on some tweets that are “potentially” in violation of its rules against hateful conduct. Previously, the tweets were removed.
It was in this policy update that Twitter appears to have deleted the line against deadnaming from its rules.
“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, the president and CEO of the advocacy group GLAAD. “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.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to a message for comment Tuesday.