Journalist Meghan Murphy on Monday filed a lawsuit against Twitter after she was banned from the platform over tweets referring to a transgender individual by their biological sex and opining that “women aren’t men.”
After a number of temporary suspensions, Twitter in November permanently locked the verified account of Murphy, a Canadian writer and self-described feminist, informing her that she had violated the platform’s hateful-conduct rules.
“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,” the policy reads.
In late October, Twitter added “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals” to its list of prohibited behavior and applied the policy retroactively to Murphy’s earlier tweets.
“Women aren’t men,” read an October tweet from Murphy. “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” she wrote in another.
Murphy deleted those tweets, per Twitter’s request, but her account was locked again, this time with no reason given, when she wrote that some of the social-media giant’s rules were “bullsh*t.”
“I’m not allowed to say that men aren’t women or ask questions about the notion of transgenderism at all anymore?” she tweeted. “That a multi-billion dollar company is censoring basic facts and silencing people who ask questions about this dogma is insane.”
Her account was locked permanently a few days later when she referred to a transgender female by a male pronoun.
Murphy’s lawsuit, filed in California court in San Francisco County, where Twitter is headquartered, accuses the company of “false advertising” and “deceptive” conduct.
“The big tech giants are counting on users to quietly accept their bans and not stand up for their rights,” Murphy’s lawyers said in press release. “But Murphy is fighting back against the attempts of powerful social-media conglomerates to silence her and millions of others.”
Murphy has long been critical of the transgender-rights movement. “Treating gender as though it is either internal or a personal choice is dangerous and completely misunderstands how and why women are oppressed under patriarchy as a class of people,” she told the Canadian Senate in 2017. “The rights of women and girls are being pushed aside to accommodate a trend.”
“Now we’re banned, we’re silenced, and I actually think it’s quite dangerous,” Murphy said in December. “This is the new public square, and they know it. They’ve created this platform that they say is a place for people to share ideas.”