April 15, 2024

UPDATE, 11 am PT: Twitter owner Elon Musk said the company’s reported rejection of the Daily Wire’s documentary “What Is a Woman?” documentary on the basis of “misgendering” was “a mistake by many people at Twitter. It is definitely allowed.”

“Whether or not you agree with using someone’s preferred pronouns, not doing so is at most rude and certainly breaks no laws,” Musk said on Twitter in a reply to the original thread posted by Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing. “I should note that I do personally use someone’s preferred pronouns, just as I use someone’s preferred name, simply from the standpoint of good manners. However, for the same reason, I object to rude behavior, ostracism or threats of violence if the wrong pronoun or name is used.”

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EARLIER: Twitter nixed a deal with Daily Wire to premiere the conservative website’s “What Is a Woman?” documentary for free on the platform because of two instances of “misgendering” in the film, according to CEO Jeremy Boreing. Not only that, Boreing claimed in a Twitter thread Thursday, Twitter reps told the Daily Wire that the social network “would no longer provide us any support and would actually limit the reach of the film and label it as ‘hateful conduct’ because of ‘ misgendering.’”

Daily Wire still plans to upload the film to Twitter on Thursday at 8 pm ET, the CEO said. “Will Twitter make good on their threat to throttle it and label it ‘hateful conduct,’ or will Twitter live up to its great promise? We’ll all find out together,” wrote Boreing.

Musk has not responded to Boreing’s accusations on Twitter. An email sent to Twitter’s PR account requesting comment returned an autoreply message with a single poop emoji (a change Musk announced in March).

The Daily Wire’s 95-minute documentary “What Is a Woman?” asks “the question you’re not allowed to ask” and is “the documentary they don’t want you to see,” according to the film’s description. “Join Matt Walsh on his often comical yet deeply disturbing journey, as he fearlessly questions the logic behind a gender ideology movement that has taken aim at women and children.”

In the thread, Boreing complained that Daily Wire “brought all our shows to Twitter Tuesday because we believed Twitter was committed to free speech, especially on this issue… The other tech platforms have already decided where they stand in the trans debate and demonetize and deprioritize all those who disagree. Now, Twitter has joined the ranks of the other tech superpowers in ensuring one side of the debate is suppressed.”

Boreing continued, “I hope @elonmusk will consider this awful policy. If we can’t debate these issues on Twitter, where can we debate them? If conservatives aren’t welcome on Twitter, where are they welcome? It’s unlikely that another centibillionaire will come along to offer an alternative.”

Twitter recently removed the language in its hate-speech policy that specifically prohibits the dead naming and misgendering of transgender people. According to Boreing, Twitter’s reps “clarified they only removed ‘misgendering’ from their policy because they didn’t need to be that specific, but that they still considered ‘misgendering abuse and harassment.”

Musk certainly has presented Twitter as a haven of “free speech,” while the company has continued to draw a line in the sand with respect to certain types of violent and hateful content.

And Musk has shown an affinity for conservatives and conservative viewpoints. Last week Twitter hosted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ glitch-plagued announcement that he’s running for president. Ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently announced plans to relaunch his show on Twitter, setting up a legal fight with Fox Corp. (Musk said Twitter does not have a deal of “any kind whatsoever” with Carlson).

Musk himself has shared right-wing conspiracy theories on Twitter, and he recently compared billionaire financier George Soros to Marvel’s Jewish supervillain Magneto. Asked in a CNBC interview why Musk posts things that his companies’ customers and partners may find offensive, Musk replied, “I’ll say what I want to say, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”

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