HomeLatest NewsElon Musk's Controversial Stance on 'Misgendering' Punishment Sparks Outrage on X

Elon Musk’s Controversial Stance on ‘Misgendering’ Punishment Sparks Outrage on X

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X, formerly Twitter’s social media platform, has reinstated punishment for “misgendering”. Chaya Raichik posted an excerpt from the recent terms of service that included this provision.

Before Elon Musk bought the site, this practice was common. The conservative news site PJ Media had its account blocked for “misgendering” a government official.

Now, accounts that “purposefully use different pronouns for someone else than the one they use to address themselves” will have their visibility and impact limited. They will be shadowbanned – a common practice under the Twitter regime. This rule has been resurrected and is also very broad. X states that the decision will be made by “the target” for someone. This would be ripe to abuse as anyone could claim that they were mistakenly gendered in an effort to shut down an account they dislike.

Musk responded to Raichik’s post by claiming the rule would only be enforced on those who deliberately and repeatedly target other people with “wrong pronouns”. The replies were not happy with Musk’s dismissiveness or lack of explanation.

It is important to note that the terms of service do not specify that this rule only applies to “repeated and targeted” harassment. Musk mocked forced pronoun use in the context transgenderism.

Musk has unfortunately been known to take a careless approach to managing accounts. Although the overall environment for free speech on the site has improved, there are still instances where Musk appears to make up the rules as they go, pushing censorship only to change his course when public pressure is applied.

Concerns about advertisers were likely the drive behind the latest move. Musk’s move is understandable but I do not think he can call himself a champion for free speech by allowing his social media site to punish users who use biologically correct pronouns when describing others.

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