It is increasingly obvious that the progressive critics of Elon Musk’s efforts to make Twitter a neutral platform that encourages and facilitates communication and dialogue never wanted free speech. They wanted speech that they approved of and that advanced their agendas. The pre-Musk iteration of Twitter pleased them: conservatives breached the slanted rules and enforcement of them; those using ad hominem attacks against the “right” targets and “for the greater good” knew they had a free pass.
In the Bizarro World of “DEI,” fairness isn’t equitable, equal treatment isn’t fair, and free speech isn’t “safe.”
The latest example of this attitude came as Twitter modified its “Hateful Conduct Policy” this month. The prohibitions on “Slurs and Tropes” no longer includes “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” Deadnaming is when one intentionally (or unintentionally) uses a transgender individual’s pre-transitioning name, as in calling Caitlin Jenner “Bruce.”
This reasonable and ethical removal of a restriction ripe for abuse by speech censors and WrongThink police has now been labelled proof of Twitter’s approval of transphobia. In fact, it should mark the beginning of the elimination of the “Hateful Conduct Policy” entirely.
At the threshold, the very title of the section wounds free speech goals: it supports the Totalitarian Left’s position that mere speech is conduct that makes certain groups and individuals “unsafe,” and that the “hate speech” label, which cannot be defined sufficiently precisely not to be abused as a standard, describes expression that is not protected by the First Amendment.
The real fatal flaw of the rules in the section, however, is that all of them, literally all of them, require non-discriminatory, unbiased and objective interpretation, and nobody is capable of that today. Let’s just examine the way the eliminated passage can be abused: “We prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.“
One of the ways the conservative bloggers on PJ Media like to tweak former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace is to call him “Chrissy.” They implication is that Wallace is a weenie, a weak sister (oooh, is that “misgendering”?) in the culture wars who gives aid and comfort to the enemy. It’s a juvenile playground taunt that I find repellent and unethical: I stop reading any piece that stoops to it. But I see no reason why Caitlin Jenner should have special protection from Twitter censors when Chris Wallace does not. (Based on her comments on related subjects, neither does Caitlin Jenner.)
Moreover, the eliminated passage only added some details to the still standing “We prohibit targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category.” That rule literally can disarm one combatant in a war of words while allowing the other complete license to attack as long as they belongs to a sanctified group. Unethical and impossible to enforce fairly. Any woman can hurl repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes at a man with Twitter’s approval, for she is engaging in mere speech, but a man who responds in kind is being “hateful” and engaging in “conduct.” Similarly, black Twitter warriors can use racially-charged rhetoric against whites, but not the other way around.
Virtually all of the “hateful conduct policies” have the same problem. Yes, no question about it: a platform without rules of engagement will be a cesspool, but the alternative is what we say before Musk: a biased, one-way, ideologically censored tool of a single side of the partisan divide. Users have the ability to decided whose rhetoric is tolerable: they can do what I just did to a banned Ethics Alarms commenter who keeps sending me long diatribes via email. I stopped reading his messages.
Simple and fair.
15 thoughts on “Twitter Is Being Attacked For Loosening Its Hateful Conduct Policy. Twitter Shouldn’t Have A Hateful Conduct Policy [Corrected]”
That is what I never understood.
If you don’t want to get certain tweets, you don’t follow that person.
Now, I suppose if you follow someone who re-tweets someone you don’t follow, you would get that.
But, that is still your problem and you could block that person.
PBI translator: I’m going to use this subject of the hateful conduct policy not to address hateful conduct, but rather to digress to a completely different subject regarding misinformation and tell you that I believe there are too many stupid people on Twitter who have no analytical skills and no ability to do research. Therefore, some benefactor must interpose on behalf of all Twitterers and filter information, such that all users of the platform only get the information that’s “correct,” thereby protecting the stupid people.
Nor, I assume, did Twitter’s previous management care if Senator Lindsey Graham was misgendered in homophobic attacks caused by his political views and by the belief that he is a closeted homosexual.
Of course not! That’s the beauty part of such “hateful conduct” rules; they don’t protect the people the enforcers hate.
“Caitlin” at end of paragraph 7 ?
Thanks. Fixed. Luckily, misnaming isn’t as criminal as misgendering.
This ties into your post on the ‘gender affirming care’ poll. The phrases ‘misgendering’ and ‘deadnaming’ are tools to win rhetorical arguments and mislead. It should be called ‘real-gendering’ (for reversed spin) or at least ‘biogendering’. Deadnaming is used even when that was the name used at the time or when they haven’t actually changed their legal name. Elliot page didn’t star in in Juno, Ellen did. Caitlyn Jenner didn’t win gold medals. Using the names they used at the time of events is accurate, using newly chosen names is not.
Some “Star Trek” fans are up in arms about the character Seven of Nine in “Star Trek: Picard”.
The character was born a human girl named Annika Hansen and was about 7 when her parents took her out in a ship to study the infamous Borg from afar. Unfortunately, their ship was attacked and little Annika was assimilated into the Borg Collective, becoming Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01.
She was rescued in “Star Trek: Voyager” , had most of her implants removed and, at one point, her birth identity was discovered. Nevertheless, she continued to be called Seven of Nine or Seven.
Fast forward to “Star Trek: Picard”. She apparently tried going with the Annika Hansen name for a time after the end of “Star Trek: Voyager” but has reverted to Seven of Nine. Unsure why she would want the name given to her by the species that mutilated her and her parents, but there it is.
On “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, Captain Picard was once captured and assimilated by the Borg. He was rescued and had his implants removed, though not without some damage. While he was under their control, he was used to destroy much of the defensive force put together to fight the Borg ship.
There was already precedent for survivors of the battle to blame Picard for what happened, though those who know him best, and viewers, know he really couldn’t have prevented it. There is a character on the show now that was a survivor of the disaster and most certainly holds it against Picard and who refuses to address Seven by her preferred name, instead calling her Hansen.
Some fans are referring to this as deadnaming. Which it possibly is.
Now that I’m looking at what I wrote, the parallels are astounding. She was mutilated by these opportunistic Borg and renamed and now prefers that name over the one she was given by her loving, if idiotic, parents.
Tangential: SpaceX “Starship” rocket exploded shortly after takeoff this morning. SpaceX (had to be Elon) tweeted: “As if the flight test was not exciting enough, Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation.”
Yeah, we watched that in the office. After the explosion, no one here suggested they trade the rockets in for something made my Volkswagen.
I must get better at proof-reading.
I must get better at proof-reading.
But, but, but…
…and hate speech is anything I say it is.
Yup that’s the mentality of the social justice, participation trophy bearing, woke snowflake warrior division of humanity that’s snowflaking really hard and screaming their immature absurd nonsense as if it’s fact. These foolish people never matured past the age that students are in 7th grade.
Tell me where our laws specifically protect a particular race, gender, sexual orientation or even ethnicity.
The laws don’t single out Blacks and Hispanics for preferential treatment. Nor do any laws specifically give protections to gays, lesbians or any other sexual orientation. Where does it say women are a protected class while men are not.
This concept of protected classes has morphed into protection for sanctified groups and away from equal protection and sanctions for discrimination.
There are no protected classes because of the 14th amendment. So, if the nitTwits on Twitter want to have a safe space and take issue with language that cause them grief. Then I should be able to take issue with the stereotype or trope that whites have so call privilege and those promoting such concepts must be banned for their hateful commentary.