Twitter is coming under pressure on the right to restore a pro-life account that was deactivated after posting a tweet that referred to a transgender activist as “him.”
In an open letter, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell called on Twitter to unlock the LifeSiteNews account, which was shut down over a Dec. 8 tweet that said, “Trans activist Jonathan ‘Jessica’ Yaniv ‘shocked … confused’ gynaecologist won’t see him.”
“Twitter has deactivated LifeSiteNews’s account, claiming it violated its rules but according to LifeSiteNews,” said the Thursday letter. “Twitter didn’t specify which rules had been violated. Regardless, we maintain this tweet was perfectly legitimate and appropriate and the LifeSiteNews account should not have been deactivated as a result.”
The letter was also signed by John-Henry Westen, co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.com, which is part of MRC’s Free Speech Alliance.
In an article, LifeSiteNews said that “the social media giant declared earlier last year that ‘misgendering’ someone – i.e., referring to individuals by their actual sex instead of their claimed “gender identity” – automatically constitutes ‘hateful conduct.’”
LifeSite said it filed an appeal, but was told that the only way to restore the account would be to “remove the offending tweet.”
The Canadian transgender activist drew headlines last year after filing a human-rights complaint against 15 beauticians who refused a genital-waxing request. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled against the complaint.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the account was locked for violating the social-media platform’s hateful conduct policy.
“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,” the policy states. “This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
Mr. Bozell and Mr. Westen said they would forward a copy of the letter to Attorney General William Barr and the House and Senate Judiciary Committees “so they are aware of it as a part of their ongoing investigations.”
“We have had to take this step because our 67-member coalition, representing tens of millions of conservative Americans, was unable to get the attention and support of your Washington representatives,” said the letter.