Elon Musk has declared the words “cis” and “cisgender” are now considered slurs on Twitter, according to a tweet the billionaire owner sent early Wednesday. The words don’t show up in any of Twitter’s officially published guidelinesThe move is unique on social media platforms, such as Facebook. Major platforms do not view cisgender as a derogatory term.
“The words ‘cis’ or ‘cisgender’ are considered slurs on this platform,” Musk tweetedAfter midnight ET, a trans activist claimed to have harassed a user.
Transgender is the opposite of cisgender. It refers to someone whose gender identity does not correspond to that registered when they were born. The word transgender refers to the opposite—someone whose gender identity is different from that assigned to them at birth.
It’s not immediately clear what kind of punishment Twitter users who use cisgender may face, though Musk is well known for announcing new policies or programs at the social media company that never really get enshrined in any formal way or otherwise take months to become a reality. Musk said in February, that Twitter will start to share ad revenue. It’s difficult to tell whether that program has actually started.
This new policy, which declares cisgender to be a slur, seems in line with the goal of anti-trans activist to make that word toxic. The Oxford English Dictionary notes the term cisgender first became popular in the late 1990s to talk about gender expression and most people don’t seem to consider it a slur.
A few weeks ago, Musk helped promote a 2022 film titled “What Is a Woman?” by anti-trans activist Matt Walsh. The film had been restricted by Twitter’s hate speech policy when Musk visited China. Walsh publicly complained about these restrictions. After Musk had left China, the film could be freely shared without restriction on Twitter. Musk pinned it to his profile on Twitter so users could see it first when they visited.
Musk had also taken down protections that GLAAD, an LGBT advocacy organization, had called for in April. Twitter had previously banned “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals,” in line with other platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. Musk has lifted the deadnaming ban.
Many people speculated at the time that Musk’s decision to strip some protections for trans Twitter users had something to do with the billionaire’s estrangement from his daughter, who is trans. Musk is now speaking out and appears to be blaming college.
“Musk has a dystopian view of the left’s influence on America, which helps explain his wild pursuit of Twitter to liberate free speech. He blames the fact that his teenage daughter no longer wants to be associated with him on the supposed takeover of elite schools and universities by neo-Marxists,” the Financial TimesMusk’s profile was written in 2022, on 7 October.
Musk bought Twitter in October of 2022, and made several changes immediately that scared advertisers. Musk handed the title of CEO to Linda Yaccarino who is a veteran in advertising. She will help Twitter woo back advertisers that may have been concerned with brand safety since Musk became its leader.
Twitter responded to a question about the new policy with a poop emoji, an automated response set up by Musk that’s sent to all reporters. I’ll update this article if I hear back anything of substance.
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