Elliot Page’s dead name was a trending topic on Twitter, breaking the rules
Elliot Page’s dead name emerged as a trending topic on Twitter on Tuesday, violating the site’s own policy on hateful conduct.
The Umbrella Academy The actor’s dead name – the name he used before coming out as trans – has been listed under the site’s trending tab for at least 45 minutes.
According to Twitter hateful conduct policyusers are prohibited from “targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes, or other content that is intended to dehumanize, degrade, or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category.”
“This includes targeted gender errors or dead names of transgender people,” the policy says.
Hot topics are determined algorithmically, based on the site policiesbut the company “may not allow or temporarily block content from appearing in Trends until more context is available” if the content violates its rules.
After BuzzFeed News reached out to a Twitter spokesperson, Page’s dead name no longer seemed to be in vogue. Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy confirmed that the site removed it as a trending topic.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Kennedy reiterated the site’s policies and said allowing Page’s dead name to trend was a mistake.
“The term you referred to should not have been allowed to appear in Trends, and it has since been removed and banned from appearing in Trends,” Kennedy said. “Our teams are constantly evaluating our internal processes to prevent this from happening.”
“Elliot Page” later emerged as a trending topic, with the tweets largely supporting the actor and defending him from anti-trans harassment.
The actor did not immediately respond to a BuzzFeed News request for comment.
The page’s dead name originally trended due to targeted harassment triggered by Jordan Petersonthe right-wing internet personality and former psychology professor best known for his protests against social justice issues, who gained notoriety for saying he would refuse to use the pronouns a trans or non-binary student asked him.
Peterson’s Twitter account was suspended on June 22 after he tweeted about Page — using their dead name and her/her pronouns — saying they had “boobs removed by criminal doctor.”
In a video where Peterson repeatedly misinterpreted and named Page, Peterson said his suspension would remain in place “unless I delete the hateful tweet in question, and I’d rather die than do that.”
Peterson’s suspension sparked an influx of anti-trans harassment on Twitter against Page, which led to his dead name appearing as a trending topic. His dead name also trended in December, according to tweets at the time, due to similar harassment.
This is not the first time that Twitter’s trending topics have contained hate speech or other prohibited content. The platform boosted hashtags in 2018 by spreading baseless conspiracy theories that pipe bombs sent to Democrats were “false flags”. A few days later, the phrase “Kill all Jews” briefly appeared on the trending bar. In India last year, calls for the police to “shoot” protesters went on for several hours. It was only removed after widespread outcry and an investigation by BuzzFeed News.