SAN FRANCISCO, CA – On the first day of Pride Month, Twitter CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the social media platform will no longer police the usage of pronouns, allowing users to misgender people without any fear of reprisal while drawing the ire of LGBTQ advocates who claim it will lead to increased bullying.
On Thursday, Musk was replying to a tweet issued by Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing, who complained that compelling specific pronoun usage – particularly in the case of transgender people – was a free speech issue, to which the South African tech tycoon said that the policy was no longer being enforced on Twitter.
“It is definitely allowed,” Musk said in regards to misgendering other users on the platform. “Whether or not you agree with using someone’s preferred pronouns, not doing so is at most rude and certainly breaks no laws.”
Boreing had reached out to Musk over Twitter’s reported rejection of the Daily Wire’s documentary “What Is a Woman?” The Tesla CEO confirmed that that move was “a mistake by many people at Twitter. It is definitely allowed.”
Under its previous ownership, Twitter had instituted a ban in 2018 on misgendering as part of its rule against degrading behavior or other hateful content; Musk then purchased the company in October of 2022, saying he was going to make it a “platform for free speech.”
The ban on misgendering was subsequently done away with in April, albeit with no announcement; Musk’s tweet on Thursday is the first official, public confirmation that users are no longer compelled to use preferred pronouns when referring to other individuals.
Musk – who himself has a child that identifies as transgender – later elaborated on his previous tweet, saying he personally uses preferred pronouns to be polite but does not feel the need to force that courtesy upon anyone else.
“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,” he said. “However, for the same reason, I object to rude behavior, ostracism or threats of violence if the wrong pronoun or name is used.”