Dear Twitter: Thanks for restoring Lindsay Shepherd—now give us Meghan Murphy
Jessica Yaniv, trans advocate, alleged predator, and human rights tribunal litigant, successfully petitioned Twitter to ban outspoken feminist activists Meghan Murphy and Lindsay Shepherd over misgendering and insults. Shepherd has been reinstated, but Murphy is still off the platform. Twitter, @Jack, it’s time to bring Meghan Murphy back.
Lindsay Shepherd’s saga was the most recent, and the tweets that transpired between Yaniv and Shepherd were insulting on both sides, yet Shepard was the only one of the two who caught the Twitter ban. Meghan Murphy had about 25,000 followers when she was blocked in November 2018, and she’s been off the platform ever since.
The process for reporting harassment on Twitter is pretty clean-cut, but what is done with that reported info, and the means by which users are then sanctioned or banned, is pretty opaque. This has been a complaint against Twitter for some time. Why is it that some users who report intimidation are listened to while others are not? Why is Twitter so obsessed with banning speech that does not uphold trans ideology?
And frankly, what are the rules? Twitter’s rules about harassment and speech codes are so blurry as to be illegible. The standards to which users who push the envelope are held are not elucidated. Twitter is a public space, and in public spaces, rules of decorum are clear, often written down on a big sign. At public pools, there are not rules for some kids and different rules for others, and that should also be the case on Twitter. Free speech should be upheld, and rules of transgression should be apparent. Who gets banned on Twitter should not be a judgment call based on shifting standards that depend entirely on what ideology has the most likes at any given time.
Twitter is completely off the rails for letting Murphy, an outspoken woman who doesn’t follow the woke rules of anti-female contemporary feminism, languish off the platform. For better of worse, Twitter is the town square where these conversations take place, and it has a responsibility to let all voices be heard.
Jessica Yaniv’s case and name were under a publication ban of her own wish, but it was recently lifted and media attention has zoomed in on the case of this trans woman who is suing women for not waxing her male genitals. It has been widely and well-reported on. There’s nowhere left to hide for Yaniv.
Anyone who hears this story knows how absurd it is. Jessica Yaniv can and should live however she chooses, but so too should anyone who doesn’t wish to wax her testicles. Meghan Murphy barely even said anything about Yaniv, who has now put herself out there for the world to discuss, yet Yaniv has the platform and Murphy is still banned. Why?
People say horrible things on Twitter all the time. Death threats, mean-spirited comments, nasty language abound, but Murphy was banned for misgendering. The tweet at issue was three words: “yeah that’s him.” At the time, Yaniv’s whole pronoun thing was confusing, because Yaniv had been using different pronouns depending on her preference. Murphy pointed this out to no avail.
There are petitions to reinstate Murphy’s account, and evidence to show that Yaniv targeted Murphy, yet she’s still locked out. Writing about her ban in Quillette, Murphy said: “The social media behemoth has been suspending accounts, not because users break Twitter rules, but because they break rank. Despite repeated claims that the platform exists as a space for free speech, and the company’s professed public commitment to refrain from banning users for ideological reasons, Twitter is now doing just that. Those who fail to adhere to the company’s preferred politics are picked off, with no accountability to speak of.”
Murphy sued Twitter, and though her case did not move forward, it’s laudable that she wouldn’t just let herself be silenced without a fight. Fans and supporters of Murphy’s have been advocating for her return for months, sharing her work on Feminist Current and in other outlets. She is a strong and diligent voice from a feminist community that refuses to see itself trounced and belittled by women’s rights groups that have been overtaken by male centric concepts of womanhood.
Is Twitter afraid of Murphy’s voice? Wary of her followers? Concerned that what she has to say will get more likes and retweets than their preferred woke talking points? Or at this point is it some kind of chastisement specifically targeting Murphy, who in her outsider status has become something of a Twitter nemesis?
The logic behind lifting Shepherd’s ban in sound. If Twitter doesn’t let Meghan Murphy back, complete with full account access, it must be because of a personal vendetta against the woman who demanded to be allowed to speak. Listen up Jack Dorsey, it’s time for Twitter to step up and return access to the platform to Meghan Murphy.
Via Rail announced this morning that CN has notified them that partial routes between Quebec City, Montreal, and Ottawa will be back up and running as early as Thursday, Feb. 20.
Only trains that serve full trips between Quebec City and Ottawa will resume service. This comes after the better part of two weeks of being shut down as a result of protests in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people who are against the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Trains 22, 24, 26, 28 leaving from Ottawa will be resuming as well as trains 33, 35, 37, and 39 leaving from Quebec City.
All other train services remain cancelled until further notice with the exception of Sudbury–White River (CP Rail) and Churchill–The Pas (Hudson Bay Railway).
The Minister of Indigneous, Marc Miller met with blockade protestors Saturday in Belleville in hopes to negotiate a swift and peaceful resolution. The meeting took place in a nearby community centre and lasted over eight hours, although the minister wasn’t able to give the press many details about what was discussed in said meeting.
If you reward something, you get more of it.
If you punish something, you get less of it.
It’s one of the most basic precepts of human nature, and it should be the bare minimum level of knowledge a government official possesses in the execution of their duties.
It’s the entire reason we have laws.
We punish behaviour that is illegal, in order to discourage that illegal behaviour.
Of course, no system is perfect, and we don’t want a “perfect system”, particularly not in a democracy.
But it has to work most of the time, particularly when the illegality is obvious and potentially damaging to the entire nation.
And when it comes to “rewards”, often the reward is in the elevation and respect of those who act in a way that helps that country and makes Canada a better place.
That’s what the majority of community members and the ELECTED Wet’suwet’en Chiefs were doing when they worked to get a good deal for their community, approved the Coastal GasLink pipeline, and worked to help encourage jobs and prosperity.
They followed the rules. They worked for the good of their community.
And what did they get in return?
They got betrayed by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.
Meanwhile, the radical blockaders–many of whom don’t even represent the Wet’suwet’en community–broke the laws, are damaging Canada’s economy, and are ignoring repeated court injunctions.
In short, they broke the rules, and they’re working against the good of their community.
And what did they get in return?
They got rewarded, by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.
Trudeau has elevated them, offered meetings, sent a Minister to talk to them, and has in effect given them control over the country by refusing to enforce the rule of law.
Now, as you read at the top of this article, when you reward something you get more of it, and when you punish something you get less of it.
And the consequences are clear:
Trudeau has shown that illegal protests will be rewarded with a gain of status and an ability to meet with government leaders.
Trudeau has also shown that the majority of community members who followed the rules and followed the laws will be ignored and betrayed, with their majority voices drowned out by the more extremist minority.
As a result, Canada can expect more and more illegal protests, while fewer communities will choose to follow the law.
You can already imagine what a massive disaster that will be.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau has confirmed that anti-pipeline protestors tampered with railroad crossings, specifically, the lights that indicate a coming train.
Garneau appeared on CBC’s Power and Politics on Monday, explaining the situation “I have with concerns with respect to safety here. There have been instances with the railroads where people have climbed on railway cars, that happened over the weekend. There have been instances where unexpected blockade was put in an area where a train was, in fact, operating and the railway company was not aware of that, and that can be extremely dangerous,” said Garneau.
Garneau went on to mention tampering instances that have taken place. Tampering with rail is considered a very serious offence, as previous instances of rail tampering involve full police investigations along with the CN Police Service.
“There have also been instances of tampering on the railways… One that concerns me is disabling the signalling that occurs at a road crossing… We accept peaceful protests and demonstrations in this country that are peaceful and lawful, but it is concerning if people aren’t respecting the fact that they injure themselves and other people.”
No further figures or specifics were provided by Garneau.
Hours before, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave an update to the situation to media in Ottawa, though no mention was given of any potential tampering with train tracks or disabled signalling.
“We had a good meeting with morning with the incident response group, discussions with ministers, I made some phone calls to Indigenous leadership as well as a number of premiers,” said Trudeau.
“I understand how worrisome this is for so many Canadians and difficult for many families across the country. We’re going to continue to focus on resolving the situation quickly and peacefully, and that’s what we’re going to do”
Over 83,000 VIA rail passengers have been affected by the blockades. CN has also temporarily laid-off employees in several provinces.
A lesbian event has been removed from Sydney, Australia’s LGBT Pride after a vocal minority protested the participation of a popular lesbian YouTuber with critical views towards transgender self-ID.
Arielle Scarcella runs an LGBT-centred YouTube channel with over 630,000 subscribers.
She has also spoken out against self-ID laws which have enabled biological males to be transferred to women’s prisons after the commission of serious offences, such as sexual assaults. In 2018, Scarcella collaborated on a video with Blaire White discussing how lesbian sexual preferences that do not include an attraction to biological males who transition to female were not “transphobic.”
Les-Talk was originally planned to be one of the events featured at Sydney Mardi Gras, the local Pride parade and festival. A panel-style discussion also featuring Tania Safi of Buzzfeed, the event began to draw ire from trans rights activists for including Scarcella. A petition was launched on February 15 demanding Scarcella be removed and replaced “preferably by someone of intersectionality.”
The petition was launched by Johnny Valkyrie, a transman and drag performer most notorious for a January incident at the Brisbane National Library. Valkyrie hosted Drag Storytime at the library, and was one of the two performers confronted by demonstrators from the University of Queensland National Liberal Club chanting “drag queens are not for kids.” The protestors were filmed and doxed.
The doxing resulted in one of the protestors, an openly gay student named Wilson Gavin, committing suicide the next day. Valkyrie used the opportunity at the library to raise funds for his “top surgery,” including a post on the day-of Gavin’s death—later updating the post to claim it was made prior to knowledge of his passing.
According to Valkyrie’s petition, Tania Safi of Buzzfeed has already dropped out of Les-Talk stating “I do not agree with Arielle’s transphobic and biphobic beliefs.”
10 Hours ago, Valkyrie uploaded an update to the petition, celebrating the “deplatforming” of Scarcella and Les-Talk.
Les-Talk was not officially cancelled, but was disassociated from Mardi Gras, according to a Facebook post made on the event’s official page. According to the post, the event is going forward being “privately held” by the “POC Queer women” organizing it.
Scarcella has not been disinvited from the event, and the event will proceed at another venue, separate from the LGBT Pride festivities.
Les-Talk’s Facebook page was littered with offers of support posted to the page’s wall by individuals outraged by Scarcella’s treatment.
Even multiple transpeople defended Scarcella’s beliefs, asserting she was not transphobic. One transwoman pleaded with the community to give Scarcella a “second chance,” while a transman praised Scarcella for “saying things no one else talks about.”
Scarcella is dismissive of the claims of transphobia, asserting she is anything but. “People have labeled me transphobic for being critical of trans ideas. I have no issues with being transgender. I’ve had more trans people in my videos than any other YouTuber to date,” she told The Post Millennial, noting that her only issue is with self-identification laws which might put women in danger.
“To those who truly believe I’m transphobic, I hope you change your hive-mind mentality and see how much you’re hurting your own community by acting so hateful.”