Twitter’s thought policing has gone to new extremes. Now they are suspending and banning users for making basic factual statements.
Recently I logged into my account after a robust debate with a friend, only to find my Twitter account had been suspended. I had merely stated “transgendered people are mentally ill by definition” in a civil conversation about gender identity.
Twitter’s response said I was violating their “rules against hateful conduct.” That was further defined as “you may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
I agree that promoting violence, threats, and harassment should not be tolerated on a platform. Those are legitimately dangerous statements that can actually harm individuals, but my tweet was none of those things. I stated a fact in a debate, with no call to action. No transgender people were harmed in the making of my tweet, and nor do I wish any harm to come to any transgender people.
To be allowed to return to the platform, Twitter demanded I delete the tweet. I appealed to their support, but they did not reply after five business days. Although they censored my tweet and prevented me from making a factual statement, it’s further insulting that they try to act like their customers have agency in the forced deletion of their speech. As an author and journalist, I need the platform for marketing, so I ultimately complied because the alternative was to lose my thousands of followers.
Transgender Identity Is A Symptom of Mental Illness
According to the American Psychiatric Association, the term for the mental illness transgender people suffer is gender dysphoria. It’s defined on their website as “a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify. People with gender dysphoria may be very uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned, sometimes described as being uncomfortable with their body (particularly developments during puberty) or being uncomfortable with the expected roles of their assigned gender.”
They further elaborate, “The gender conflict affects people in different ways. It can change the way a person wants to express their gender and can influence behavior, dress and self-image. Some people may cross-dress, some may want to socially transition, others may want to medically transition with sex-change surgery and/or hormone treatment. Socially transitioning primarily involves transitioning into the affirmed gender’s pronouns and bathrooms.”
It makes sense, as having such a severe issue with one’s own body is a sign that something is not going quite right mentally. The person has to deal with those issues and it can cause difficulty in functioning in society. It seemed unimaginable a year ago to have to define what a mental disorder is in order to make an argument to even remain on social media, but this is how far the extreme left has gone in Silicon Valley big tech.
I’m Not The Only One Banned For Speaking Science
The BBC released an article on May 30 titled “Twitter ‘bans women against trans ideology’, say feminists.” In the article, a group called Fair Play For Women argues legal transgender preferences harm women and feminism, because it blurs the lines about who a woman is. They allege that people have been banned from social media platforms for stating biological facts.
They launched a campaign with several statements they allege have been defined as “hate speech” under Twitter’s new tyranny. These are simple scientific statements such as: “The penis is a male sexual organ.” “Female mammals breastfeed and bear live young.” “Reproductive biology is not a social construct or fiction.”
The group offers several more examples of what they allege Twitter’s rules define as hate speech, which are equally amusing because of how objectively true the statements are. Still, plenty of Twitter users aren’t impressed. @Teresamaryclark posted “Delighted to note I have played my part in @TwitterSupport’s sanctioning of Men Clithero, Sahila Change Bringer, Sarah Sarandon and Gender IZ bunk. Keep reporting, for the sake of women and children (and trans men too).” This user references accounts that were recently banned for speaking about transgenderism.
Can We Not Discuss Mental Illness Publicly?
I spoke with Erin Sith, a transgender activist known for promoting Second Amendment rights. Sith believes that transgender people need access to guns to defend themselves, just like every other American does.
Sith understands that transgender politics are serious and thinks we need an open discussion of them. “It’s deeply ironic to me how so many of the people insisting there’s no stigma around mental illness get scandalized when gender dysphoria is labeled as one,” Sith said in regards to my tweet. “Context is important, so is separating the ones that use the label non-judgmentally (they do exist) from those where it’s shorthand for ‘throw them in a loony bin.’ Ultimately this isn’t a normal condition, and people should recognize that.”
Sith is right. Gender dysphoria is no different than any other form of mental illness, like depression. We should be able to discuss it openly and try to get people help they need when they want to feel better about themselves. Taking that away from people in the name of political correctness only furthers mental illness and isolates people from society. I don’t want this for any of my transgender friends, as I want them to be treated with respect like any other human being. We all have our flaws and problems.
At What Point Has Twitter Gone Too Far?
Twitter has been under fire constantly for their attacks on conservative activists. Starting with banning Milo Yiannopoulos, Twitter has slid to where it appears identity is more important than the actual content of what is said. Twitter’s shadow-banning of conservatives that Project Veritas exposed only furthers the perception that Twitter has an agenda, and that agenda is silencing normal thought to push extremist politics.
Their new policies just unveiled for their stated reason of “keeping Twitter safe and free from spam” are even more disconcerting. People will receive points on a scale of “bad behavior” for what company monitors deem to be mean tweets. If you tag someone you don’t follow, you are docked points. If you post from multiple accounts, you’re also docked. In the aggregate, these will restrict users from speaking freely, and if the track record of the company is any evidence, will be used to target center-right individuals.
This isn’t the first time I’ve received a Twitter suspension. The first was Easter last year, when I changed my display name to “Christ Follower Jon Del Arroz.” Twitter accused me of “bot-like activity” for the name change, where I wanted to proudly display my Christianity over the Easter weekend.
If users can’t openly discuss religion or scientific facts, what kind of speech is allowed on the platform? In an effort to police speech, Twitter is rendering itself functionally useless.