Rachel Levine, the U.S. assistant secretary for health, speaks during a Department of Health and Human Services Women’s History Month event on March 10. (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services / Flickr)
By Warner Todd Huston March 23, 2022 at 2:25pm
Twitter shut down the account of the U.S.-based Christian Post for accurately describing President Joe Biden’s transgender assistant health secretary, Rachel Levine, as a man — and the social media giant cited a foreign law to justify its actions.
The evangelical Christian outlet told its readers on Monday that its Twitter account had been “temporarily limited” because of a tweet about Levine, a man who identifies as female.
The Christian Post said it was told by Twitter it no longer would be able to post anything new and could not like or follow other users or retweet posts.
The outlet was further informed that it would be suspended from Twitter for 12 hours.
The “offensive” tweet was the Christian Post’s March 15 message that read, “USA Today names Rachel Levine, a man, among its ‘Women of the Year.’”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the tweet was replaced by a message that reads, “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules. Learn more.”
The outlet said it was told it had been “flagged for possible violations of Twitter’s hateful conduct policy.” This policy, Twitter said, is based on France’s Law for Confidence in the Digital Economy.
“Publishing content that is obviously unlawful under Article 6 of the LCEN law or that amounts to hate speech under the LCEN law can lead to civil and criminal penalties,” Twitter’s email to the Christian Post read.
The social media giant went on to inform the outlet that if it didn’t like the punishment, it could take its case before a French court.
Do you believe Levine is a man?
“If you believe the withheld content does not violate the French law,” Twitter told the Christian Post, “you may challenge the above decision by filing an appeal. You can also challenge this decision in a French court of justice.”
French law was not the only foreign law that Twitter said the outlet may have “violated.” The company also said it investigated the Christian Post’s tweets to see if they violated German hate crime laws. Ultimately, Twitter determined that the publication didn’t violate Germany’s statutes.
The Christian Post appealed the decision but remained locked out of its social media account during the review.
The outlet joined a growing number of accounts that have faced Twitter’s wrath for accurately describing Levine as a man. The 64-year-old HHS official spent more than 40 years of his life as Richard Levine before he “transitioned” in 2011, identifying himself as a woman and undergoing “gender reassignment surgery.”
In October, Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Jim Banks of Indiana were chastised by Twitter for disagreeing that Levine was, as described by Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, “the first female four-star officer to serve in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.”
Banks responded to Murthy’s statement by saying “the title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man.” That was enough to get him suspended for violating Twitter’s rules that say users cannot “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.”
Greene was hit with a similar threat after she wrote, “A dude who lived the first 50 years of his life as a man isn’t the first female anything.”
The satire site The Babylon Bee was sanctioned by Twitter this week for joking that it had awarded Levine its “Man of the Year” award.
Babylon Bee Editor-in-Chief Kyle Mann correctly identified the left’s penchant to destroy freedom of speech, saying in the New York Post, “One of the jobs of the satirist is to poke holes in the popular narrative, but Twitter’s rigging the system so you can only promote it. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to use comedy to speak truth to power.”
Mann added that his publication would not bow to Twitter’s censorship of jokes. On Tuesday, his account was suspended.
Babylon Bee editor-in-chief @The_Kyle_Mann has now been locked out of Twitter for this tweet.
So, literally perpetuating genocide will not get you booted off Twitter, but making jokes criticizing those who do, will. Got it. pic.twitter.com/Kqc1jzzALs
— Adam Ford (@Adam4d) March 22, 2022
While it’s bad enough that left-wing Big Tech outlets are stomping on free speech — and curiously only that of one side of the political aisle — it is even worse that they are using foreign laws as their excuse.
American courts generally do not take foreign precedent into account when adjudicating questions over American laws, and for good reason. The U.S. Constitution is the law of our land, not the law of other lands.
In this case, it is even more well and proper to ignore foreign laws. Other nations do not have laws assuring citizens of free speech.
The question is, how long will Big Tech giants be permitted to use foreign laws to silence Americans?