Editor's Note: The following article references transphobic material, including tweets deadnaming transgender people. In the story below, the reporter describes tweets without quoting them verbatim because The Advocate does not deadname anyone. However, we will link to the tweet.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene set off a firestorm on Twitter Monday after sending a malicious transphobic tweet that clearly violated the company’s policy. After putting only a warning label on the tweet, Twitter has drawn harsh criticism for not taking it down, with the company citing “the public interest” in keeping it live.
As she continued her crusade against people different from her, the congresswoman, who is openly hostile to the LGBTQ+ community, showed no qualms about being transphobic.
Apropos of nothing, she tweeted a video clip showing Dr. Rachel Levine, the assistant secretary for health for the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition to being a four-star admiral for the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, Levine is the first out transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate.
Greene used a double entendre while deadnaming Dr. Levine and made lewd references to gender-affirmation surgery, arguing that the assistant secretary for health was pushing a “pre-teen #weeniechop.” Greene’s tweet was intentional disinformation about gender-confirmation procedures for minors, as they are not available in the U.S. to anyone under 18 and no medical organizations or transgender organizations recommend genital surgery until adulthood.
Greene still had access to her account shortly before 6 p.m. She retweeted the previous offensive tweet, challenged Twitter for placing a label on it, and again attacked transgender individuals.
The Advocate was unable to reach a spokesperson for Twitter, but Axios reported the company’s response.
“The Tweet you referenced violated the Twitter Rules on hateful conduct,” Twitter said when Axios reached out to the site for comment. “However, we’ve determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible and has been labeled in line with our policies.”
It’s not clear how attacking someone personally could be in the public interest.
GLAAD condemned Greene for her online hate speech.
“This account has repeatedly and intentionally violated Twitter’s Hateful Conduct guidelines against targeted deadnaming and misgendering of transgender people,” a GLAAD spokesperson told The Advocate in a statement reacting to Greene’s tweets. “It’s clear that some politicians see pushing malicious, anti-trans content on social media as part of their election strategy, even with the full knowledge that such content is violative.”
GLAAD’s Social Media Safety Index released last week praised Twitter and TikTok for preventing targeting, misgendering, and deadnaming and called on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to follow suit. It also called on Twitter to better enforce its policies.
Greene misgendered NCAA swimmer Lia Thomas on Twitter in March, but Twitter did nothing.
Instead of removing harassment, the site labels it when elected officials violate their terms of service. You can only view the tweet by clicking on the warning. She probably would have been suspended if she had been a regular user.
Despite a ban on Greene’s personal Twitter account, her government account remains active.
The Advocate reached out to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for a reaction to Greene’s attack on an administration member and will update this story once a response is received.