Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on November 8, 2019


Joe Rogan went on a “woke culture” rant the other day, and said this: “you know what else you banned for … you know what will get you banned for life … dead naming … do you know a deadnaming is … if you call Caitlyn Jenner Bruce … banned for life … for life damn ridiculous this is what we’re living in” This set off the bs detector in PG’s fevered mind. As soon as you could say George Jorgenson, PG went to google.

Does twitter permanently ban people for deadnaming? (Deadnaming is using a trans person’s per-transition name.) As they say at snopes, the result is a mixture, half true, half false. Yes, twitter has changed its rules, and deadnaming is no longer permitted. However, it is not clear how strictly it is being enforced. The one case people like to talk about is Meghan Murphy. Ms. Murphy seems to be a nasty piece of work, who went out of her way to make trouble. She is not a typical case. There are no statistics on how many people have been “banned for life for deadnaming.” G-d is in the details.

Twitter has indeed changed its rules. They will be quoted in the next four paragraphs. If you want to skip over, you will be excused. “Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”

“We recognise that if people experience abuse on Twitter, it can jeopardize their ability to express themselves. Research has shown that some groups of people are disproportionately targeted with abuse online. This includes; women, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual individuals, marginalized and historically underrepresented communities.” (Women are an estimated 50.8% of the population. If you add the other groups, you wind up with a sizeable majority of the population. You create a situation where white, cis, straight males are the marginalized underrepresented community.)

“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.”

“When determining the penalty for violating this policy, we consider a number of factors including, but not limited to the severity of the violation and an individual’s previous record of rule violations. For example, we may ask someone to remove the violating content and serve a period of time in read-only mode before they can Tweet again. Subsequent violations will lead to longer read-only periods and may eventually result in permanent account suspension. If an account is engaging primarily in abusive behavior, or is deemed to have shared a violent threat, we will permanently suspend the account upon initial review.”

Twitter is a private company, which some say it is a public utility. These rules have inspired many discussions. It is always easy to point out examples of hypocrisy, and uneven treatment. Some of these objections are valid. Has anyone been banned for saying you should “Punch a Nazi”?

This *woke up call* has a New York Times editorial, How Twitter’s Ban on ‘Deadnaming’ Promotes Free Speech. In an ironic touch, this piece about “Free Speech” is hidden behind a pay-wall. For the savvy blogger, a pay-wall is no more effective than a border-wall.

“As a transgender woman, I find it degrading to be constantly reminded that I am trans and that large segments of the population will forever see me as a delusional freak. Things like deadnaming, or purposely referring to a trans person by their former name, and misgendering — calling someone by a pronoun they don’t use — are used to express disagreement with the legitimacy of trans lives and identities. … Kenan Malik argued that banning misgendering will shut down debate on trans issues and strike a blow to free speech. But in fact, the content free-for-all chills speech by allowing the dominant to control the parameters of debate, never letting discussion proceed past the pedantic obsession with names and pronouns.”

The last quote raises more questions than it answers. Who is “the dominant”? Maybe this discussion is about who will be “the dominant” in the next round of the debate. And as for pedantic obsession with names and pronouns… does anyone have a recipe for that can of worms?

The NYT piece had another zesty quote, from certified poopyhead Ben Shapiro. “Is this framework useful? Perhaps Trump is a racist. Perhaps not. Either way, we can have a productive conversation about whether particular Trump statements or actions are racist. But we can’t have a productive conversation that starts from the premise that Trump is a racist overall, and that every action he takes and every statement he makes is therefore covered with the patina of racism. That conversation is about insults, not truth.” Should perceived racial values be a protected category? That is a topic for another discussion. This one has gone on long enough.

To sum things up, Twitter has changed its rules to prohibit transgender trash talk. They probably have good intentions for doing this. It remains to be seen whether these good intentions will lead to hell, or just back into messy everyday life. Twitter is a work in progress, and some well meaning changes run into trouble. It is theoretically possible to get banned for saying Bruce, one time. It does not appear to be happening, yet. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

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