Politics

Twitter suspends GOP Congressman’s account for hate speech after vile attack on trans woman

Rep. Jim Banks
Rep. Jim BanksPhoto: Screenshot

Twitter has suspended Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) after the congressman used vile hate speech to refer to Admiral Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary for Health.

Banks’ official work account was suspended. He has since started using his personal account to complain while other Republicans amplify the insult and castigate the service for removing hate speech.

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Levine is the first transgender four-star officer in the uniformed service. She is also the first female admiral to lead the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. The Corps is always led by the Assistant Secretary for Health, who always holds the rank of admiral.

“The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man,” Banks tweeted after the groundbreaking ceremony finished.

Even Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), one of the service’s most notorious users, didn’t get punished for her tweet about Levine’s promotion. It did not violate Twitter’s hate speech policy.

Twitter suspended his account after the comment was flagged by thousands of users for “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” His account would be restored if he deleted the offensive tweet.

About fifteen minutes later, he added, “Calling someone that was born and lived as a man for 54 years the first ‘female’ four-star officer is an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking glass ceilings one day.” This tweet was not removed.

Banks took to his personal account to complain, demanding that “Big Tech be held accountable” after “Twitter has suspended my official account for posting a statement of FACT. I won’t back down.”

Other Republican legislators quickly jumped on the bandwagon, using Banks’ suspension as an opportunity to bash transgender people and occasionally being retweeted by Banks.

GOP Congresswoman Victoria Spartz, one of Banks’ fellow Indiana lawmakers, quickly jumped to his defense while avoiding his slur. Instead, she seemed to confuse government censorship and the social media company’s terms of service.

“BigTech censorship & suppression of free speech is out of control,” she tweeted. “[Banks] is accountable to his voters only. Judiciary Comm must pass legislation to protect the rights of American people & reform BigTech unlimited immunity.”

The two Congress members’ districts abut each other and cover portions of the state that were hotbeds of Ku Klux Klan activity. Banks has been one of the most vociferous defenders of former President Donald Trump and his racist policies and supporters.

One user, however, boiled it all down to the basics, tweeting that Banks’ “statement was not a fact, and you broke the contractual agreement you made with Twitter when you signed up for the service. They are within legal rights to suspend or shut down any accounts you have for that. You agreed to that when you signed up.”

“Big tech held accountable for what? You did wrong,” another replied. “But hey blaming others for your wrongdoing is pathetic.”

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