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X Removes Pronoun Display Options on User Profiles


It seems that Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) is taking the final steps to remove its previously added pronoun functionality on profiles entirely.

Back in 2021, Twitter unveiled a new plan to enable users to include their preferred pronouns on their profiles, as part of a broader industry shift to facilitate greater representation in social apps.

Twitter profile update

Twitter had been a laggard in this respect, with most other apps already offering pronoun display options on profiles. But then, Elon Musk purchased the app, and Elon’s own stances on pronouns are very clear: He does not like people being able to choose what pronouns they identify with.

As a result, Twitter changed its policy on pronouns, which also saw the removal of rules that explicitly ban deadnaming (i.e. calling transgender people by a former name), as well as the deliberate misgendering of trans users.

The update was considered a significant blow for LGBTQ+ users in particular. And now, according to new note on the back-end code of the app, it’s removing all mentions of pronouns entirely from its systems.

Which, given Musk’s aforementioned stance on the matter, is not surprising, but it’s another counter-progressive approach that’s unlikely to enhance the platform’s appeal with key ad partners.

To be clear, the option to display your preferred pronouns was never made available to all users, as Twitter had been developing the option when the Elon takeover occurred. So it was never actually launched, as such, but some users did have the option, and Twitter was planning to roll it out more broadly.

But now, it’s seemingly being erased, as a reflection of Musk’s personal view on what pronouns represent. Which, in Elon’s view, is “woke ideology”, though allowing people to choose how they’re represented seems like a less controversial element within this debate.

Either way, it’s gone, and I wouldn’t expect X to be rolling out a revised version of the same.

Unless it has to. Last month, X was forced to revise its deadnaming policies in Brazil due to a court order, which X is now reportedly challenging.

Maybe, if other regions follow suit, X will be forced to implement such changes anyway, but outside of that, I don’t see Elon allowing such to proceed.

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