Sunday 3 March 2024

Elon Musk Responds To Blowback Over ‘Misgendering’ Policy

 Elon Musk offered reassurances on Saturday to podcaster Tim Pool over how X, formerly known as Twitter, contends with users who identify as transgender.

“I will be terminating all ad spend commitments and verified accounts over X reinstating the misgendering policy,” Pool said in a post on Friday.

Pool said in a separate post that he “just deleted a 25k ad campaign” and noted plans for “200k for march.”

In response to the first post, Musk said, “Turns out this was due to a court judgment in Brazil, which is being appealed, but should not apply outside of Brazil.”

Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that homophobic slurs were punishable by prison after it determined homophobia was a crime in 2019, Agence France Presses reported in August.

Pool had shared a link to a report by The Hill about a “quiet update” that appeared to revive a policy X removed last year — after Musk completed a $44 billion takeover of the platform — prohibiting the “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

A page on X’s website that says it was updated in January 2024 contains a section on “Use of Prior Names and Pronouns.” The section claims that X “will reduce the visibility of posts that purposefully use different pronouns to address someone other than what that person uses for themselves, or that use a previous name that someone no longer goes by as part of their transition.”

Responding to one X user who shared screen grabs that indicated a gender identity policy was being enforced, Pool said, “Hateful conduct.” He also said, “X is the woke mind virus,” adding, “I hope this gets resolved.”

Musk replied to that comment prior to his post about Brazil, saying, “Fixing.”

Expressing appreciation for the response, Pool said, “I should always wait because you do always seem to do the right thing or try your best.” He continued, “Massive respect.”

“There is no reason to have a misgendering or deadnaming policy,” Pool said in another post. “If someone is harassing then you can block them.”

Musk also replied to that post, saying, “I agree.”

Pool shared a screen grab of that exchange and touted X for having an owner who responds directly to its users.

“X is the only platform where the owner treats you like the customer and tries to engage and make it better,” Pool said. “Thanks @elonmusk.”

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