Lawmakers Censored by Twitter for Misgendering Transgender Official

By Jonathan Walker | October 28, 2021
Jonathan loves talking politics, economics and philosophy. He carries unique perspectives on everything making him a rather odd mix of liberal-conservative with a streak of independent Austrian thought.
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Twitter temporarily suspended Jim Banks after he called a transgender female a man. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0

Twitter has censored conservative opinions in many instances just because their statements did not align with certain ideologies. The social media platform is in the news once again for censoring conservatives, with Republican Representatives Jim Banks from Indiana and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia being the victims this time. Their crime – the duo referred to a transgender official as a man.

On Oct. 19, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Admiral Rachel Levine was sworn in as a four-star admiral, becoming the first openly transgender person to achieve the rank across America’s eight uniformed services. 

Levine currently serves as the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health and head of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps.

“Admiral Levine now serves as the highest-ranking official in the USPHS Commissioned Corps and its first-ever female four-star admiral. Admiral Levine will lead 6,000 Public Health Service officers who are dedicated to serving our nation’s most underserved and vulnerable populations,” the HHS said in a statement on Oct. 19.

The agency claimed that by honoring Levine with a four-star rank, Washington is taking “a major step forward” to creating a “more inclusive society.” Levine had lived the first forty-plus years of his life as a biological male before his gender transition.

Republican Banks took to his official Twitter account to criticize HHS, pointing out that the position of first female four-star officer in the country “gets taken by a man.” 

Banks’ Twitter account was temporarily suspended for violating the platform’s Hateful Conduct policy that includes a prohibition against “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”

“You may not 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,” the Twitter rule states. A spokesperson from the company insisted that Banks had to delete the tweet to get back access to the account.

However, Banks defended the tweet, calling it a “statement of fact.” While the suspension remains active, he will continue to tweet from his personal account, the lawmaker said. 

“Big Tech doesn’t have to agree with me, but they shouldn’t be able to cancel me… If they silence me, they will silence you,” Banks said. The lawmaker said that Republicans have to win a majority in the House next year so as to hold big tech accountable and restore honesty to public forums.

Meanwhile, Marjorie Greene tweeted that a “dude” who lived his first 50 years as a man “isn’t the first female anything.” She went on to say that China was “laughing at us.” Though the platform did not outright ban the tweet, it censored the post by blocking retweets, likes, and comments. 

A warning is also attached to the tweet, stating that Greene’s post violates the company’s rules on hateful conduct. But since Twitter has determined that keeping the tweet will be “in the public’s interest,” the post was not deleted.