Elon Musk, the owner and CTO of Twitter, has declared that the terms “cis” and “cisgender” are now considered slurs in relation to the platform’s harassment policy, with users at risk of banning them if they use them to insult another person.
On Tuesday, James Esses, a “gender-critical” commentator on the platform, noted that after he publicly rejected the use of the term “cis” he was bombarded with messages from trans activists who said he was “cis” whether he liked it or not. “Cis” is short for “cisgender,” which trans activists believe refers to a person whose “gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth.”
In response, Musk, who took control over Twitter last year, declared late on Tuesday evening that “the words ‘cis’ or ‘cisgender’ are considered slurs on this platform,” and added that “repeated, targeted harassment against any account will cause the harassing accounts to receive, at minimum, temporary suspensions.”
Musk later implied in a response to journalist Katherine Brodsky, that if somebody “self-identifies” as being cisgender, it would not necessarily be considered a slur, saying that people on Twitter could call themselves anything they want to.
The Twitter owner did also agree with British author JK Rowling, who tweeted today that “cis” is “ideological language” which signifies “belief in the unfalsifiable concept of gender identity.”
Reduxx co-founder Genevieve Gluck responded to Musk’s comments with a replies that Volkmar Sigusch, the German sexologist who coined the term cisgender to begin with, also believed that pedophilia was a sexual orientation, and that there was “nothing wrong” with it.
“Yup, the contemptible creep that manufactured the term ‘cis’ has serious problems,” Musk tweeted in reply to Gluck. “Ignore him.”
This is not the first time that Twitter under Musk, colloquially referred to as “Twitter 2.0,” has updated their terms of service to shift away from the notoriously progressive policies it once boasted of having.
In April, Twitter removed a policy that banned the “misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals,” which it had implemented under the previous ownership structure in 2018.
As a result of these policy changes, GLAAD, a major US-based LGBTQ advocacy group, declared that Twitter was the worst social media platform for LGBTQ inclusivity, falling 12 points on their scale to only being 33% “acceptable.“
However, their ratings also suggested that criticism of transgender ideology amounted to “hate” against the LGBTQ community, even when the criticisms came from explicitly LGBT groups, such as “Gays Against Groomers.”