Twitter suspends Senate candidate over transphobic post
Twitter temporarily suspended a Missouri U.S. Senate candidate’s account Monday for violating the platform’s policy against hateful conduct.
The violative post from Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) claimed that “Women’s sports are for women, not men pretending to be women,” and included a link to an ad targeting trans University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas where her deadname was used.
Twitter’s hateful conduct policy bars harassing or promoting violence against any group or individuals based on identity, including gender and sexual orientation.
“This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals,” a spokesperson for the platform told The Hill.
“The account owner will need to delete the violative Tweet and spend 12 hours in read-only mode before regaining full access to their account,” they added.
Hartzler’s campaign told The Associated Press that it will not delete the tweet, calling the suspension “shameful, utterly ridiculous, and a horrible abuse of censorship by big tech giants to stifle free speech.”
Thomas, who previously swam for UPenn’s men’s team, has become a frequent target of right wing media and lawmakers.
Fox News has prominently featured her in coverage as multiple states are moving to restrict the rights of trans athletes from participating on the sports team that corresponds with their gender identity.
Texas passed a law that barred transgender athletes from competing on the sports team corresponding to their gender. The law went into effect earlier this year.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last week ordered state child welfare officials to investigate cases of transgender children receiving gender-affirming care.
Hartzler is among several Republicans, including former Gov. Eric Greitens and State Attorney General Eric Schmitt, running to replace the retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
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