Canadian writer Meghan Murphy is suing Twitter for permanently banning her over transphobic tweets she wrote and published.
Murphy’s writing focuses on gender and politics. Her feminist opinions are rooted in the ideals of TERFs, or trans-exclusionary redical feminists.
In her lawsuit, Murphy alleges Twitter breached their contract and violated her free speech, thereby unjustly banning her. Her attorneys filed the lawsuit on Monday (11 February) in San Francisco, where Twitter’s headquarters are located.
Murphy’s problems on Twitter began when the platform locked her account on 15 November 2018 and asked her to delete transphobic tweets.
They stated the tweets violated the company’s hateful conduct policy. Updated last October, ‘hateful conduct’ on the platform now includes ‘targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals’.
In general, Twitter also prohibits ‘targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category’.
The tweets in question
Per the lawsuit, Twitter forced Murphy to remove two tweets.
The first, sent 11 October, read simply: ‘Men aren’t women.’
Murphy sent the second tweet on 15 October, which Twitter said also violated its policy as the first did. This one read: ‘How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?’
In order to gain access to her account again, she had to remove the tweets, which she did.
After getting back into her account, she tweeted: ‘This is f**king bulls*** @twitter. I’m not allowed to say that men aren’t women or ask questions about the notion of transgenderism at all anymore? That a multi billion dollar company is censoring BASIC FACTS and silencing people who ask questions about this dogma is INSANE.’
Four days later, on 19 November, Twitter asked Murphy to remove this tweet, too. Another four days later, on 23 November, the company banned her permanently.
They cited a 8 November tweet as the reason for the permanent ban, in which Murphy identified Twitter user @trustednerd as ‘him’. The tweet featured a photo of Jessica Yaniv.
The lawsuit defends Murphy’s tweet by claiming Yaniv was using the male name ‘Jonathan’ and ‘appeared to be entirely male’.
Murphy believes Twitter’s hateful conduct policy violates free speech.
The lawsuit states: ‘ This new policy banned expression of a political belief and perspective held by a majority (54%, according to a 2017 Pew Research poll) of the American public: that whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by the sex they were assigned at birth.’
She also made a Faceook post, linking to a YouTube video explaining her decision to sue, and criticized Twitter.
‘Twitter allows porn, as well as accounts that enable sex trafficking, on their platform, but ban women who speak the truth about material reality and challenge the idea that individuals can change sex through self-declaration,’ she wrote.
‘Twitter is not going to get away with this hypocritical, dishonest, entirely sketchy and unlawful behaviour. We cannot allow multi billion dollar companies to dictate free speech!’
Her lawyers also released a statement: ‘The big tech giants are counting on users to quietly accept their bans and not stand up for their rights. But Murphy is fighting back against the attempts of powerful social-media conglomerates to silence her and millions of others.’
GSN contacted Twitter for comment.