Elon Musk tweeted that while he uses one’s preferred pronouns, as he would with a preferred name, misgendering “is at most rude and certainly breaks no laws.”
This was a mistake by many people at Twitter. It is definitely allowed.
Whether or not you agree with using someone’s preferred pronouns, not doing so is at most rude and certainly breaks no laws.
I should note that I do personally use someone’s preferred pronouns, just as I…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2023
Some LGBTQ activists criticized Musk’s Tweet, claiming his allowance to “freely misgender” people on the social media platform would be an open invitation for bullying.
Musk’s statement was in response to a complaint of cancellation on Twitter over using incorrect pronouns. He went on to add it was a mistake on Twitter’s behalf explaining, “Whether or not you agree with using someone’s preferred pronouns, not doing so is at most rude and certainly breaks no laws.”
The LGBTQ community argues that within culture battles, bullying of transgender people can typically take place through using pronouns other than those someone prefers.
According to an NBC report, Musk’s latest statement spawned criticism from LGBTQ groups as they disputed the policy opens the door for anti-trans harassment.
“Twitter was once a place where many marginalized people including LGBTQ people found community, and it’s become hostile,” said Laurel Powell, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign.
“What we’re seeing isn’t really about censorship or discrimination of ideas. It’s about the kind of company Twitter wants to be and the kind of world they want to shape,” she added.
Executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen said Musk’s tweet was disheartening.
“This will only increase hate speech that has harmed our community within social media spaces,” he stated.
Musk expanded on his current thoughts in his tweet on Thursday.
“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,” he added.