Twitter works on adding pronoun section amid LGBTQ+’s fear of harassment due to Musk’s free speech plans

May 4, 2022
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Alessandro Paluzzi, a social media app feature leaker and reverse engineer, once again discovered a new detail Twitter is working on: a section on a user’s profile dedicated to adding pronouns.

Twitter is always trying to make its platform the ideal place for all individuals. As such, it is no surprise that it is working on such a project. Currently, Twitter users are adding their preferred pronouns to the bio section of their profiles, but this new feature will change that.

According to the screenshots shared by Paluzzi, the feature in development will come with an introductory screen highlighting the importance of giving users the freedom to indicate their pronouns, saying that “like names, pronouns help express someone’s identity” and that “using pronouns is a sign of respect.” The new feature also aims to “reduce stigmas and promote acceptance,” which is relevant on the platform now due to the countless members of the LGBTQ+ community using the app. Twitter also houses numerous LGBTQ+ accounts with tons of followers, such as BuzzFeed LGBTQ with 221.2K followers and GAY TIMES with 406.9K followers.

The new section will also feature a prompt showing some examples of pronouns in different languages while saying that “understanding how people identify is important for us.” The section will be placed under the birthdate when you edit your profile and will be above the “Edit professional profile” option.

While the news seems inviting, it is overshadowed by Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform, which causes fear in some members of the LGBTQ+ community. The main concern of the said individuals roots in Musk’s plan to change, if not abolish, the content moderation policies of Twitter. Some believe that when that happens, it will be the start of online harassment of LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups.

Musk’s 2020 tweet about his disapproval of using pronouns on the platform strengthened the fear over such possibilities. “I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare,” the post reads.

Musk didn’t try to explicitly defend his tweet through another statement despite the backlash. Instead, the billionaire followed it with a quoted tweet on Tesla scoring “100/100 for the fourth year in a row in LGBTQ equality.”

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