X reinstates policy against misgendering & deadnaming

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X is again making it illegal for users to misgender and deadname other users on the platform. The policy was dropped last year, but X is reinstating it again following numerous criticisms.

As Ars Technica reports, in April last year, X (called Twitter back then) updated its abuse and harassment policy to allow for misgendering and deadnaming. The policy was adopted in the pre-Musk era in 2018. But the billionaire later suggested that his tweets might violate the policy.

Meanwhile, the latest update to X’s policy in January indicates that the company is again banning users from misgendering and deadnaming transgender people and other members of the LGBTQ+ community under the newly-added “Use of Prior Names and Pronouns” section.

Misgendering and deadnaming is illegal again on X

As the new policy reads, X 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.”

Posts that contain misgendering and deadnaming will be removed from search results, timelines, trends, and notifications. Additionally, no ads will be shown adjacent to them.

The non-profit LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD blamed X back then for not banning misgendering and deadnaming. It said Twitter’s move was “the latest example of just how unsafe the company is for users and advertisers alike.” Meanwhile, the organization said policies that explicitly ban misgendering and deadnaming are better than vague policies that confuse content moderators.

LGBTQ+ advocacy groups are not happy with X’s recent policy update

The platform only acts against misgendering and deadnaming if it receives a complaint from the target. That is according to a new policy. “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.”

Meanwhile, GLAAD suggests that self-reporting is not the best possible way to tackle desecration against the LGBTQ+ community. Presumably, because it puts all the burden on the victim’s shoulders. The GLAAD’s Jenni Olson told Ars that X’s recent move is a step back from stronger protections that the platform had in place for many years.