Social media platform Twitter has reportedly forcibly removed a tweet by controversial Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson for violating its rules against hateful conduct.
The tweet in question was made in regards to The Umbrella Academy actor Elliot Page, who came out as transgender in December 2020.
This is what happened.
Who is Jordan Peterson?
Peterson is a Canadian psychology professor and YouTuber who began receiving widespread attention in the 2010s for his far right ideology.
He had maintained a clinical practice where he saw around 20 people a week up until September 2016, when he released a number of videos criticising Bill C-16 (An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code), which, at the time, was a law being considered by the Parliament of Canada which would see gender expression and gender identity added as protected grounds to the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Bill C-16 was later passed by the Canadian Parliament.
In 2017, Peterson put his clinical practice on hold from there and used YouTube as a platform to post lectures to spread messages usually centred around transphobic, misogynistic and racist views.
What did he write on Twitter?
Peterson made a tweet about actor Elliot Page which has since been removed by the social media platform for violating its rules against hateful conduct.
Peterson had tweeted: “Remember when pride was a sin? And [Elliot] Page just had [his] breasts removed by a criminal physician.”
In his tweet, Peterson linked to an article from the New York Post about how Page was “proud” to reintroduce his Umbrella Academy character to viewers as Viktor Hargreeves, and that he was “excited” to see his real life transition being represented on the show.
In his original tweet, Peterson incorrectly referred to Page by his old name and used she/her pronouns.
As it stands, Page has not responded to Peterson’s tweet, with his social media instead focused on promoting the new season of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, which he stars in.
Has he been suspended from Twitter?
Following the tweet, on Wednesday (29 June), commentator Dave Rubin claimed that Peterson had been “suspended” by Twitter.
Rubin tweeted: “The insanity continues at Twitter. @jordanbpeterson has been suspended for this tweet about [Elliot] Page.
“He just told me he will ‘never’ delete the tweet. Paging @elonmusk…”
Peterson’s daughter, Mikhaila Peterson, posted on Twitter screenshots from her father that showed his account being issued a strike for the tweet.
In the screenshots, the warning from Twitter states: “We have determined that this account violated the Twitter Rules. Specifically for:
“Violating our rules against hateful conduct.
“You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.
“As a result, we’ve temporarily limited some of your account features. While in this state, you can still browse Twitter, but you’re limited to only sending Direct Messages to your followers - no Tweets.”
The message from Twitter explained that Peterson would regain full control of his account 12 hours after deleting the tweet in question.
However, speaking to the National Post, Peterson said he would “rather die” than delete his tweet about Page, and added that Twitter may as well ban him from the platform because he “won’t apologise”.
He said: “There are no rules on Twitter except don’t do what we don’t like today.
“They are always applied post hoc by algorithms and idiots bent on maintaining their woke superiority.”