(VINnews) — In a shocking move, Ben Shapiro’s conservative Daily Wire had one of its more popular videos canceled by Twitter.
In the surprising turn of events, Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing announced Thursday that the popular social media platform canceled a highly anticipated deal with the conservative media company due to two instances of “misgendering.”
The decision sparked a heated debate on the platform with prominent figures, including Shapiro, Boreing and Musk, weighing in on the matter, and Musk has said that this was a mistake.
The controversy began when Boreing took to Twitter to express his disappointment after the platform canceled a deal to premiere the film “What is a Woman?” for free. The cancellation was allegedly prompted by two instances of “misgendering” in the film’s content.
Boreing’s tweet read, “Twitter canceled a deal with @realdailywire to premiere What is a Woman? for free on the platform because of two instances of ‘misgendering’.” His statement quickly gained traction, leading to a flurry of discussions on the social media platform.
Twitter CEO Musk responded to Boreing’s tweet, acknowledging the decision as a mistake made by individuals within Twitter. Musk said, “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.”
Musk went on to clarify his personal stance on the matter, emphasizing the importance of respecting someone’s preferred pronouns and name out of good manners. However, he also expressed his objection to hostile behavior, ostracism, or threats of violence in cases where individuals inadvertently use the wrong pronoun or name.
It is not confirmed whether Musk will reinstate the premiere.
Thursday’s controversy highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the use of preferred pronouns and the consequences of “misgendering.” The issue has become increasingly divisive in contemporary society as some individuals seek recognition and respect for their gender identities.
Here is Boreing’s tweet thread:
Twitter canceled a deal with @realDailyWire to premiere What is a Woman? for free on the platform because of two instances of “misgendering.”
I’m not kidding.
Here’s what happened:
One year ago today, we released What is a Woman?. To celebrate the occasion and expand the movie’s already enormous impact, we decided to give it away for free for 24 hours on Twitter.
With Twitter’s recent commitments to free speech, we thought it would be the perfect place to distribute the film and drive the conversation forward on one of the most important topics of our day.
Twitter responded with enthusiasm and offered us the opportunity to buy a package to host the movie on a dedicated event page and to promote the event to every Twitter user over the first 10 hours.
We accepted and signed an agreement. After we signed, Twitter asked to see the film to better understand what parts may “trigger” users, so they could better prepare their response. They said they were still all hands on deck for launch, so we sent them a screener.
After reviewing the film, though, Twitter let us know that not only could we no longer purchase the package they offered, they would no longer provide us any support and would actually limit the reach of the film and label it as “hateful conduct” because of “misgendering.”
Specifically: In the film, a father refers to his 14-year-old daughter as “her,” and a store owner uses the “wrong” pronoun in a confrontation with a trans person.
We reminded Twitter they removed “misgendering” from their policy, that the term “misgendering” itself is misleading, and that enforcing such a policy places them on the side of the most radical elements in society – the side most opposed to their commitment to free speech.
Twitter clarified they only removed “misgendering” from their policy because they didn’t need to be that specific, but that they still consider “misgendering” abuse and harassment.
They gave us the opportunity to edit the film to comply.
When we asked how much they would limit the visibility if we posted the film anyway, Twitter replied that our own followers would not be able to see it in their feeds. This, they said, is part of their “speech not reach” policy.
Of course, saying “you have the right to speak, but we’ll make sure no one hears you” is a bit like saying “you have the right to cast a vote, but we’ll make sure it isn’t counted.”
That’s not a right at all!
We brought all our shows to Twitter Tuesday because we believed Twitter was committed to free speech, especially on this issue.
After all, the @TheBabylonBee was silenced on Twitter over this very issue, and that in part prompted @elonmusk to purchase the platform.
The other tech platforms have already decided where they stand in the trans debate and demonetize and deprioritize all those who disagree.
Now, Twitter has joined the ranks of the other tech superpowers in ensuring one side of the debate is suppressed.
@elonmusk is not beholden to conservatives. He has the right to run his business as he sees fit. But if Twitter is going to throttle one side of one of the most important debates facing society, it cannot claim to champion free speech.
I hope @elonmusk will reconsider this awful policy.