Twitter has updated its terms of service to offer greater protection to trans people.
The new section of Twitter's terms of service reads: "We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanise, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category.
"This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals."
The new terms of service also acknowledge that marginalised groups including women, people of colour and LGBTQ people tend to face more abuse on the platform. When a person identifies with several marginalised groups, Twitter also notes, the abuse can be even greater.
Twitter's new terms state: “Research has shown that some groups of people are disproportionately targeted with abuse online. This includes; women, people of colour, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual individuals, marginalised and historically underrepresented communities. For those who identify with multiple underrepresented groups, abuse may be more common, more severe in nature and have a higher impact on those targeted."
The new terms have been welcomed by users including Mermaids, a charity which supports gender diverse and trans children and young people, and author and activist Paris Lees, who tweeted: "About time! Twitter should be a safe space for everyone."
Misgendering or deadnaming a trans or non-binary person can now get you reported to twitter. It has taken twitter far too long to reach this but I’m glad that recognition of transphobic online bullying, harassment, and abuse is gaining momentum.— s_golightley (@s_golightley) November 25, 2018
Turn off the mic on transphobia. https://t.co/FNpUccS2DF
So Twitter today - after a long time of us begging them - decided to make misgendering and deadnaming trans people as a ban-able offense. This story has personally affected me many times, but I'll give you a couple of stories to ponder its impact. https://t.co/WYmneNw9Dn— ✡️ Josh Shahryar ☪️ (@JShahryar) November 24, 2018
In the UK over the last year, the number of hate crimes recorded by the police on the grounds of sexual orientation and being transgender increased by 27% (from 7,194 in 2015-16 to 9,157 in 2016-17) and 45% (from 858 in 2015-16 to 1,248 in 2016-17) respectively.