Elon Musk quietly reinstates X's ban on deadnaming & misgendering

Elon musk just restored the deadnaming and misgendering policy on X
Elon musk just restored the deadnaming and misgendering policy on X
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The social media platform X has been a dumpster fire ever since Elon Musk took over in 2022, but things got infinitely worse for the transgender community when he quietly axed a policy protecting against misgendering and deadnaming.

Now, 10 months later, the policy has been just as quietly reinstated. In fact, it was done so secretively that no one noticed for close to a month until Ars Technica reported on the change.

The wildly unpopular choice to get rid of these vital protections in the first place came in April 2023 after Musk claimed his own tweets could be considered to violate the policy created in 2018.

With the policy removed, so too were any guard rails on what conservatives could post on X. Deadnaming, misgendering, and spewing vitriolic hate at the LGBTQ+ community was A-OK and seemed to be a favorite pastime for ultra-conservative and alt-right figures — like when far-right pundit Jordan Peterson intentionally deadnamed Elliot Page for clout.

According to Ars Technica, last month X updated the "Use of Prior Names and Pronouns" section of its policy, which now confirms that the platform 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."

Trans journalist Ari Drennen, who posted about the Ars Technica article yesterday, wrote, "Don't look now but X (formerly Twitter) quietly restored their ban on misgendering and deadnaming trans people - as long as it's reported by the target."

While it is encouraging that X reinstated the policy, it puts the onus of enforcement on users, stating that people will have to self-report violations of the policy because "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."

According to GLAAD, out of the six major social media platforms — TikTok, YouTube, X, Facebook, Instagram, and Threads — only TikTok "expressly prohibits targeted misgendering and deadnaming in its hate and harassment policy."

Chaya Raichik, who runs the hateful, far-right Libs of TikTok social media account, decided to test the restored ban yesterday by deadnaming and misgendered three celebrities to see if she would get suspended from X.

Musk, of course, responded, "You're not going to get suspended," making it clear that this change-up is likely to bring about real change on the toxic platform. Musk has yet to speak publicly about the decision to reinstate the policy, but the platform has been bleeding money, with X losing 71 percent of its value since since the tech billionaire took over in October 2022, The Guardian reports.

Prior to the news of the reinstatement coming out, Drennen predicted that the policy would be restored to appease the advertisers X has lost. "Anyway I predict that X (formerly Twitter) will slowly reimplement all the guidelines that Elon made a big show of gutting, because this remains an advertiser-funded service and advertisers expect certain standards," she wrote.