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The Transphobic Problem that Plagues Twitter

Content warning: This article discusses instances of transphobia that may be distressing or upsetting to some readers

What is going on with Twitter?

Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms available to all, being a huge source of news and updates from companies and individuals alike, with over 335 million users operating on the platform, it has become a popular hub of interaction along with the likes of Facebook or TikTok.

The platform has recently been going through significant restructuring as Twitter was acquired by Elon Musk in October 2022. Bringing about controversial changes such as the paid subscription "blue badge holder" which costs around $8 per month to be seen over other accounts, or the reinstating of accounts that were banned previously.

Though despite all the changes that have been made ever since Elon Musk became the CEO of the platform, transphobia among other kinds of hate speech is widespread on Twitter and has no plans of stopping, which is all due to a fundamental flaw that Twitter has.

Twitter attracts all crowds, including the wrong ones

Twitter's overall driving mission statement has remained unchanged since the platform hit the mainstream:

Our mission: To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.

Every single CEO of Twitter has always pushed for the idea of freedom of speech to always be allowed on Twitter, which may be beneficial at first however this also means the freedom of speech to those who share negative and hurtful beliefs and views on people with protected characteristics, such as those in the trans community.

Despite how the trans community may be accepted by more people, there will always be those who have hateful views of others, who choose to be vocal about it online and bully those who are a part of that community, this is the second blade to the double-edged sword of "freedom of speech" on the internet.

Can Twitter stop the transphobic activity on it's platform?

Unfortunately, the short answer is no, they cannot entirely stop it but they can introduce measures that can significantly cut back and limit transphobic behaviour. One primary example of this was when the platform had prohibited the targeted misgendering as well as deadnaming of transgender people ever since 2018, but as of recently had "covertly" rolled back this long-time policy when trying to "redefine what targeted harassment" is.

Twitter should reinstate and define the rules that are made to protect those of the trans community and to continuously tweak them as well as others with protected characteristics to try and promote Twitter as a place that best suits its original mission statement and to bring people away from the assumption that the platform is a home for toxic individuals who harbour hurtful and hateful stances who go online to troll and bully innocent people.


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