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Twitter Suspends GOP Lawmaker for Misgendering Biden Appointee

  • Rep. Jim Banks violated policy in attack on Biden official
  • Rules of Twitter explicitly bar mislabeling people’s gender
Jim Banks
Jim BanksPhotographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Twitter Inc. suspended Representative Jim Banks’ official account for calling Dr. Rachel Levine, the Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary, a man.

Banks, a Republican from Indiana and a top conservative in the House of Representatives, violated Twitter’s terms of service, which bars users from harassing people based on their gender identity. He made the comment in a tweet referencing that Levine, a transgender woman, would be sworn in as a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Levine will be the first woman to reach that rank.

“The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man,” Banks said in the tweet, which Twitter removed on Saturday for violating its rules.

Twitter bars users from attacks based on race, ethnicity, national origin and gender identity, among other reasons. Its rules state that misgendering transgender individuals is prohibited.

On his personal account Banks was defiant. He tweeted that his official account had been suspended because he posted a fact without specifying what he wrote. He added, “I won’t back down.”