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Twitter’s Spring Cleaning Comes Early: One Gross TERF at a Time

Twitter's Hateful Conduct Policy has been updated to strictly forbid misgendering and deadnaming of trans people. This has been a bitter pill to swallow for some TERFs.

Ash Griffith | November 30, 2018

Just like any other social media service, Twitter has its pros and cons. A generally vague Terms of Service page falls under the latter category. It has a list of violations that just kind of run along the lines of “Hey, maybe don’t be a jerk to other people.” While I like to believe that most people with quote-unquote “common sense” understand exactly what that means, things like this always end up being just vague enough that there isn’t just a loophole — there is an entire lagoon.

Well, not any longer. Twitter is rewording its Terms of Service page to make it vibrantly clear what constitutes as harassment – at least in regards to its users in the trans community.

Technically this was enforced at the end of October, but it only came to light this past weekend — on Black Friday, in fact. Through this policy, any Twitter users caught intentionally deadnaming or misgendering another user with the intent to harass them will be suspended.

Specifically what brought this to light was the actions of radical feminist writer Meghan Murphy, who ran afoul of Twitter’s TOS by posing such TERFy questions as “What’s is the difference between a man and a trans woman?”

What’s the difference between a TERF and a dumpster fire?

I’ll hold, Meghan.

Anyway. Realizing that marginalized communities are at large the main targets for internet harassment and abuse, they decided to make the wording in their Hateful Conduct Policy crystal clear. So as to make it so easy enough to understand that even TERFs might actually comprehend it. Just maybe.

The specific wording on Twitter’s website is as follows:

We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.

While many are praising Twitter for their efforts and taking a conscious stand, just as many are concerned about how this will be enforced, and under what circumstances. As with many things, only time will tell. For now, this is at least a step in the right direction.