Twitter locked Heritage Foundation Media Director Greg Scott out of his account Thursday over a tweet he wrote criticizing men who identify as women and compete in women’s sports.
Scott was notified Thursday that his tweet noting the biological differences between the sexes violated Twitter rules against “hateful conduct,” and his account had been suspended. The tweet that caused Scott’s suspension was in reference to a biological male athlete who was banned from competing in a women’s powerlifting competition.
“He is not ‘stuck on the sidelines,'” Scott wrote. “The whole ‘I was astonished’ act is tired and dishonest. If any competitive sport highlights the differences [between] men & women that EVERYONE KNOWS ARE REAL, it is powerlifting.”
— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) May 16, 2019
He has filed an appeal, but is unable to access his account in the meantime, unless he deletes the tweet. Other users can still see his profile.
“What they force you to do in order to be able to be back on the platform is they essentially, like a fundamentalist religious cult, force you to confess, repent and promise to Jack that you will be a good Twittizen in the future,” Scott told The Caller.
JayCee Cooper — a transgender woman — is in a dispute with USA Powerlifting after the federation said he couldn’t compete with women because Cooper has an unfair advantage over them as a biological male. The federation president told NBC News that USA Powerlifting researched the differences between men and women’s bodies, and concluded men should not be allowed to compete with women.
“We’ve been referred to as bigoted and transphobic and a whole lot of less kind things, but it’s not an issue of that for us,” Larry Maile said. “It’s an issue that we have to consider dispassionately and make our best judgment collectively about what the impact on fair play is for us, and that’s the basis on which we’ve proceeded.”
The suspension came less than a week after Twitter apologized to Ph.D. psychologist and adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Ray Blanchard, who researches gender identities and sexual orientation, for suspending his account over a tweet outlining his position on transgender people.
He called transgenderism a “mental disorder” in the flagged tweet — a statement backed up by the American Psychiatric Association.
The unrolled “Credo” thread that got me locked out and then unlocked in 24 hours. https://t.co/kzwcy9mae7
— Ray Blanchard (@BlanchardPhD) May 13, 2019
Twitter later concluded the tweet did not actually violate any rules and reinstated his account. “After reviewing your account, it looks like we made an error,” a statement explaining the decision to Blanchard read.
Twitter has unlocked my account and graciously apologized for their error. My sincere thanks to the people who expressed their concern during the past 24 hours. pic.twitter.com/fblijhdi5k
— Ray Blanchard (@BlanchardPhD) May 13, 2019
Conservatives have expressed concern for years now that Twitter’s algorithms and employees have a liberal slant that results in unfair targeting of right-leaning ideas and figures, whether because of an “error” or as in the case of Scott’s tweet or because the company finds a conservative view hateful. (RELATED: Twitter CEO Dorsey Says ‘We Were Too Aggressive’ In Banning Conservatives)
As Reason Editor-in-Cheif Nick Gillespie wrote this week:
It should be deeply worrying to anyone who believes in free expression that governments and corporations are openly working together to decide what is and is not acceptable speech. Does anyone really trust the wisdom and sagacity of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey or Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg—much less President Donald Trump or the leaders of Singapore (ranked 151st out of 181 countries for press freedom by Reporters Without Borders) — when it comes to defining good speech?
Twitter said the company enforces its rules fairly in a statement to The Daily Caller.
“We enforce the Twitter Rules impartially for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation,” the statement said. “We are constantly working to improve our systems and will continue to be transparent in our efforts.”
Scott took issue with their claim to impartiality, and noted that extremist Louis Farrakhan and Hamas, designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department, are allowed to operate accounts on the platform.
“They might be fairly applying their policies, but what they would have to admit then is that they’re more sympathetic to Hamas than someone who thinks men are men,” he said. “If they think I am more dangerous than Hamas, Twitter’s got a problem and they need to do some soul searching.”