Twitter no longer bans users who refer to people using biologically accurate pronouns. Instead, it now allows accountholders to determine how they express themselves. This victory for freedom of speech won scorn from outlets existentially dependent on freedom of speech.
The Associated Press said in its lede on the story that the move to affirm freedom of expression evokes “concerns that the Elon Musk-owned platform is becoming less safe for marginalized groups.”
Twitter for years marginalized anyone refusing to abide by dictates emanating from Silicon Valley that men can have babies and women can have penises. Its bans did not stop at trolls (not that freedom of speech does not extend to trolls, a subjective term rarely agreed upon between troll and trolled) who verbally abused men portraying as women and women portraying as men. They encompassed respected people making general biological points targeting no particular person.
“A man cannot get pregnant,” Francisco José Contreras, a professor who serves in Spain’s lower legislative chamber, tweeted about an article touting a “man” giving birth. “A man has no womb or eggs,” he said.
Twitter banned him temporarily.
It meted out a harsher, longer sentence to Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy, who was deplatformed for four years until Elon Musk granted her a pardon upon buying the company. Twitter banned Murphy after she questioned transgender ideology, a position capsulized in her tweet: “Men aren’t women.”
Do they not call that a tautology in logic class? At pre-Elon Twitter, they called that hate speech.
Comedians, traditionally afforded a wide latitude to make us laugh, faced the same foe on Twitter that Lenny Bruce faced at the Café Au Go Go. In this instance, however, the censors owned the club.
Shock jock Anthony Cumia knows Anthony Comstocks well. He could no longer tweet under the old regime after hurling five insults, including “trans looking,” toward a journalist.
They banished Graham Linehan, who created The IT Crowd. And, demonstrating that ideologues acting in bad faith still find employment within Twitter, did so again just days ago after misinterpreting, willfully one guesses, a joke as a threat. “One would think the ‘Durr’ made it clear what I was doing,” Linehan reflected, “but evidently not.”
His subsequent tweets since his reinstatement demonstrate why trans activists want him silenced: he disagrees with them, does so effectively, and, given the overwhelming critical acclaim for the various television shows he has helped create, speaks with authority.
“JK Rowling will still be read when your death cult joins pet rocks, bellbottoms and beanie babies in the dustbin of history,” he tweeted Monday in response to an activist celebrating author Judy Blume going from “100%” support for Rowling to calling her views “total bull$#!+.” “@judyblume why are you doing the bidding of these abusive, controlling men?”
One way to win a debate involves preventing the other side from showing up. Twitter marginalized skeptics of transgenderism in this way. This Pavlovian conditioning put others on notice to alter their speech lest they lose their accounts, too. Remarkably, by now not marginalizing anyone involved in the debate, Musk’s Twitter, according to an Associated Press news article bowing to the delusions of alphabet-people activists, marginalizes them by not silencing those opposed to their ideology.
“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,” Sarah Kate Ellis, leader of GLAAD, told the AP. “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.”
Is it? How would one prove that the rhetoric one disagrees with leads to illegal behavior such as violence? In the case of the transgender mass murderer in Nashville, the writings left behind might prove that, but we are not allowed to read them. Shh. It’s a secret.
In most cases, Person A does not announce that Person B’s rhetoric nudged him to bonk Person C over the head with a mallet, so such charges remain not just unproved, but unprovable. Why try to make an unprovable case? Because saying “I want my allies to retain free speech rights and my enemies to forfeit them” not only fails to persuade, but also alienates. It serves as better public relations for fascists to big-lie the public into imagining their enemies as fascists so that they can more easily strip them of rights.
Intolerant people who maintain the existence of an infinite number of genders but one legitimate opinion silenced opponents on Twitter for years. They cannot any longer. Why do journalists, of all people, act as though this represents something other than progress?