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US: Twitter bans Christian magazine over factual transgender comment

March 2021

Dr Rachel Levine
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A Christian magazine in America was temporarily suspended by Twitter because of a tweet about President Joe Biden’s nomination of a transgender person for a federal position.

The president has nominated Dr Rachel Levine for Assistant Secretary for Health. If appointed, Dr Levine will be America’s first openly transgender federal official.

On 19 January, The Daily Citizen, a publication of Christian group Focus on the Family, tweeted a quote from one of its articles.

It read, ‘On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden announced that he had chosen Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of HHS. Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is a man who believes he is a woman.’

But Twitter froze the publication’s account, citing ‘hateful conduct’. The tech giant added, ‘You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of… gender identity.’

The Daily Citizen promptly appealed the decision and authored a letter to the company defending the tweet and article in question.

In its appeal it said, ‘Numerous outlets reported on Levine’ [sic] appointment – including President Biden’s White House – noting Dr. Levin’s [sic] transgender identification.

‘Many of the articles and tweets explained that Dr. Levin [sic] was born male, believed he is really a woman, had surgery and opposite-sex hormones, and now identifies as a woman.

‘Our tweet does not “promote violence against, threaten, or harass” Dr. Levin [sic]. Yet, we are deeply puzzled about how it was misconstrued to do so. Nowhere in our tweet or article did we encourage such action. As a Christian organization, we would never do so.

‘We simply explained to our readers the appointment and defined what transgender women are – those born male who believe they are a woman, regardless of whether they have had opposite-sex hormones or surgeries.’

But following the appeal, Twitter responded, ‘Our support team has determined that a violation did take place, and therefore we will not overturn our decision…

‘In order to restore account functionality, you can resolve the violations by logging into your account and completing the on-screen instructions.’

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