Elon Musk's X Quietly Changes Pronoun Rules, Reigniting Free Speech Concerns

Brittany M. Hughes | March 1, 2024
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(UPDATE: 3/5/24 Elon Musk had since revised the X pronoun policy again to reduce the visibility of posts with "misgendering" to only regions where it “required by local laws.”  Right now, this constitutes Brazil. Original story below.)


X, formerly known as Twitter, has quietly changed its community guidelines to include a penalty for intentionally using pronouns other than a person's "preferred" ones, in a move that seems to go complete against X CEO Elon Musk's stated support of free speech.

The social media platform recently added a section called “Use of Prior Names and Pronouns” to its policies on abusive behavior saying X will now “reduce the visibility of posts that purposefully use different pronouns to address someone other than what that person uses for themselves, or that use a previous name that someone no longer goes by as part of their transition.”

Before Musk's takeover of the company in 2022, then-Twitter had included a stated policy against "misgendering" or "deadnaming" a trans person who goes by pronouns or a name that doesn't correspond to their biological sex. Users would often see their accounts frozen or even permanently banned for posts that acknowledge the biological reality of sex and gender. In fact, the platform's crackdown on anyone who didn't kowtow to the left's gender ideology is in part what sparked Musk, a longtime public critic of made-up pronouns and radical LGBTQ propaganda, to purchase the platform in an effort to reinstate policies that support free speech, including the freedom to publicly support a science-based view of gender.

Related: Pure Narcissism: Trans Space Force Lt. Col. Demands 'Respect,' Calls for 'Pride' & 'Pronouns' in Emails

Which is why many X users are now wondering why the about-face - including LibsofTikTok creator Chaya Raichik, one of the foremost proponents of science-based gender rules on the platform.

For his part, Musk has claimed that the rule only applies to "repeated, targeted harassment of a particular person," without specifying exactly what would qualify as "harassment," a term leftists seem to have an entirely different definition of.

It's worth noting that unlike the Twitter policies of old, the new rule doesn't appear to explicitly ban using a person's non-preferred pronouns or birth name or threaten anyone with removal for not complying, but merely says posts with such content will be downgraded.

Then again, if a post falls on X and there's no one around to here it, what was the point?