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The last we heard of Twitter and their dehumanizing language policy, it was still in the works and getting feedback from users. However, now users have noticed an actual change.

The current dehumanizing language policy now prohibits “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

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Targeted misgendering is purposely using the wrong pronouns for a transgender individual or referring to them as the sex they were born as. Deadnaming is using the individual’s birth name, which might not be the one they use upon transitioning.

The hateful conduct policy references targeted attacks upon transgender individuals under its “repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes or other content that degrades someone.” The policy reads:

“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. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

The change happened in late October, but news of it started spreading on social media last week.

Users who repeatedly break the new policy or engage in “primarily abusive behavior” will be permanently suspended.

Other things covered in the policy include a ban on hateful imagery such as “logos, symbols or images whose purpose is to promote hostility and malice against others based on their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or ethnicity/national origin.”

This covers references to “specific means of violence where protected groups have been the primary targets or victims.” Twitter points out examples such as visuals depicting lynching or victims of the Holocaust.

The policy also covers wishing harm on a person or group of people on the social media site. Examples include hoping that someone dies from a serious disease or accident, as well as wishing physical injury upon someone.

Protected groups on Twitter

The policy references “protected groups” several times. These are users that Twitter has identified as more likely to face harassment or feel unsafe online.

“We recognize that if people experience abuse on Twitter, it can jeopardize their ability to express themselves,” the policy starts. “Research has shown that some groups of people are disproportionately targeted with abuse online. This includes: women, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual individuals, marginalized and historically underrepresented communities.

“For those who identity with multiple underrepresented groups, abuse may be more common, more severe in nature and have a higher impact on those targeted.”

Twitter hopes to combat the harassment that these protected groups face on the site so it can be an enjoyable experience.  

“We are committed to combating abuse motivated by hatred, prejudice or intolerance, particularly abuse that seeks to silence the voices of those who have been historically marginalized,” the site reads. “For this reason, we prohibit behavior that targets individuals with abuse based on protected category.”