The Babylon Bee said Sunday it was suspended from Twitter for a post declaring Dr. Rachel Levine, the transgender Biden administration official, its first annual Man of the Year.
The satirical conservative site posted the notice from Twitter saying that the account was “locked for violating the Twitter rules,” specifically the policy against “hateful conduct.”
Tweets on @TheBabylonBee account dated March 15 and 16 said: “The Babylon Bee’s Man of the Year is Rachel Levine.”
“We received this notice that we’ve been locked out of our Twitter account for ‘hateful conduct,’” said the Bee in an Instagram post. “We’re told our account will be restored in 12 hours, but the countdown won’t begin until we delete the tweet that violates the Twitter Rules.”
The Bee said it would give up its account, which has 1.3 million followers, before erasing the tweet.
“We’re not deleting anything,” said the Bee. “Truth is not hate speech. If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it.”
The Bee’s Levine ding came shortly after USA Today named the Health and Human Services assistant secretary one of its 12 Women of the Year for 2022.
The former Pennsylvania health secretary reportedly transitioned from male to female in 2011 at the age of 53.
Twitter has shown little tolerance for those who refer to Dr. Levine as a man.
Rep. Jim Banks, Indiana Republican, was suspended in October for a tweet saying “The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man,” referring to Dr. Levine’s promotion to four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Georgia Republican, was slapped with a warning for tweeting, “a dude who lived the first 50 years of his life as a man isn’t the first female anything.”
Twitter’s policy against hateful conduct includes comments that “promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
Correction: The story has been changed to reflect that Rachel Levine was one of USA Today’s Women of the Year.