Expert Psychologist Blocked on Twitter for Expressing Clinical Opinion on Transgenderism

Sqorin Hammerfarf

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Oh god, not another transgender thread, right? Well, this isn't really about transgenderism, but about Twitter censoring the opinion of someone who could be considered an expert on the subject, sharing an entirely reasonable medical opinion:

In the early hours of Sunday morning, an expert Ph.D. psychologist who helped write the official psychological position on transgender identity was blocked on Twitter for expressing his opinion informed by clinical experience. His well-reasoned position was flagged for "hateful conduct."
After this qualified statement of support, Blanchard explained his clinically-informed opinion that "sex change surgery should not be considered for any patient until that patient has reached the age of 21 years and has lived for at least two years in the desired gender role."
"Gender dysphoria is not a sexual orientation, but it is virtually always preceded or accompanied by an atypical sexual orientation – in males, either homosexuality (sexual arousal by members of one’s own biological sex) ... or autogynephilia (sexual arousal at the thought or image of oneself as a female)," the Ph.D. psychologist explained. "There are two main types of gender dysphoria in males, one associated with homosexuality and one associated with autogynephilia. Traditionally, the great bulk of female-to-male transsexuals has been homosexual in erotic object choice."
It gets worse/better:
Although the Ph.D. psychologist supported sex-change surgery for 21-year-old adults whose gender dysphoria has persisted against other forms of treatment, he acknowledged that even post-operative transgender individuals are still biologically male or female beneath the surgical changes. No matter how good transgender surgery gets, a biological male still has X and Y chromosomes in virtually every cell of his body and a biological female still has two X chromosomes. No surgery or identity can alter this.

Ostensibly for this reason, Blanchard took a nuanced, scientific approach. "The sex of a postoperative transsexual should be analogous to a legal fiction," he tweeted. "This legal fiction would apply to some things (e.g., sex designation on a driver’s license) but not to others (entering a sports competition as one’s adopted sex)."
It seems transgender activists reported his tweets to Twitter, and the company chose to ban him. Helen Joyce, an editor at The Economist, called this decision "unreal."

"Ray Blanchard served on the gender dysphoria working group and chaired the paraphilia working group for DSM V," Joyce tweeted. "He is a world expert in the field. Twitter has just suspended his account for a thread setting out his findings from A lifetime of research. Unreal."
Now, I guess there is some discussion to be had here on this guy's opinions on transgenderism, but what I'm more concerned about is Twitter banning him. The fact that Twitter thinks they have editorial control over what anyone says, much less a doctor who helped write the DSM entry on transgenderism, is grotesque. In a perfect world, people would share their opinions unburdened by censorship, and the better and more reasonable opinions would rise to the top naturally. Twitter is destroying the natural order of things, creating a new selection pressure and redefining the evolution of public opinion towards only the opinions they deem appropriate. At this point, I think it is clear that Twitter is the enemy of public discourse, the enemy of debate and reason, and potentially the enemy of mankind.
 

Sqorin Hammerfarf

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It should be noted that the account was restored, with a terse apology for the "error".

It is likely that his account was banned due to mass flagging, but I think Twitter is still to blame because mass flagging should affect individual tweets, not result in banned accounts. Giving that kind of power to angry mobs is just about the dumbest fucking thing you can do - and most people don't have the respectability and reach that this guy had in order to get their accounts restored.
 
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Grinchy

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Since his account was restored, this still basically boils down to why a large group of internet goons would be upset with his statements in the first place.

Saying that sex reassignment surgery shouldn't happen until you're 21 doesn't sound all that crazy to me. And saying that you're still biologically male or female even after the surgery seems like a no-brainer as well. Why would such a factual statement with no hostility or ill intent behind it get so many people upset?
 

Croatoan

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Since his account was restored, this still basically boils down to why a large group of internet goons would be upset with his statements in the first place.

Saying that sex reassignment surgery shouldn't happen until you're 21 doesn't sound all that crazy to me. And saying that you're still biologically male or female even after the surgery seems like a no-brainer as well. Why would such a factual statement with no hostility or ill intent behind it get so many people upset?
Because feels over reals.
 
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Sqorin Hammerfarf

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I still think mass flagging is camouflage for Twitter's deliberate actions. I think Twitter (or someone in their trust and safety group directly) banned this guy personally. I know Twitter has the ability to flag individual tweets and to limit access to them, and no corporation is going to outsource the absolute power to permaban its users to the users themselves. It's plausible deniability, so Twitter never has to answer for its actions.
 

monegames

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I still think mass flagging is camouflage for Twitter's deliberate actions. I think Twitter (or someone in their trust and safety group directly) banned this guy personally. I know Twitter has the ability to flag individual tweets and to limit access to them, and no corporation is going to outsource the absolute power to permaban its users to the users themselves. It's plausible deniability, so Twitter never has to answer for its actions.
mass flagging shouldn't get someone a ban regardless. that is a great way to get people to leave the platform, which is something Jack specifically stated was what they work to avoid. oh a mob of 10 or 20k people targeting an account to get it banned, sounds like targeted harassment to me.
 

Joe T.

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I think I said it in another thread, but if Twitter is genuinely interested in rectifying the problems associated with mass flagging - such as the perception that it's coming down unfairly against conservatives - then they should consider applying warnings/suspensions to every account that unjustly reported another. It would make people think twice before following the herd and reporting those they don't like, like the Krassenstein brothers and their NPC army. Twitter needs to take steps to discourage mob rule.
 

diablos991

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Mass flagging doesn’t exactly make sense.

Otherwise how would Trump’s account be active? You know people are flagging every post he makes.
 
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Antoon

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What I've been saying in literally every trans thread. This is old news too, and common sense in the science world. Of course you cant be 'accidently' born in the wrong body, its all psychology and upbringing which causes the belief to be 'fixed'. Trans activism is a runnaway zoo at this point, denying the very basis of human biology.
 

Sqorin Hammerfarf

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Mass flagging doesn’t exactly make sense.

Otherwise how would Trump’s account be active? You know people are flagging every post he makes.
Exactly. Not just Trump but a hundred other accounts. Mass flagging doesn’t make sense when there are people like Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson who have to get mass tagged on every tweet. Twitter is making these decisions to ban people. It isn’t automated either. If it were, the liberal hate mongers who tweet “kill all men” would be getting hit by the same algorithms looking for hate speech. It’s the same crap that causes specific trending words to disappear, but their misspellings are somehow still trending. It’s all a conspiracy to pass the blame to algorithms and users, when Twitter is intentionally and maliciously manipulating people’s speech.
 

Yoshi

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I feel that this a fundamental issue with moderation: No one can be an expert on everything and thus moderators can make clearly wrong dicisions without bad intentions. It is good the dicision was revoked afterwards.
 

dionysus

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I feel that this a fundamental issue with moderation: No one can be an expert on everything and thus moderators can make clearly wrong dicisions without bad intentions. It is good the dicision was revoked afterwards.
Crazy thought, so how about just don't bother with moderation.

Edit: Don't moderate any offensive speech. Certain stuff should still be banned, like doxxing, videos of murder, pornography, etc. But if the only reason to ban something is because it offends someone, hell no.
 
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Yoshi

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Crazy thought, so how about just don't bother with moderation.
This won't fly in countries with anti hate-speech laws (e.g. Germany) - they would be legally responsible for what people write there. Moreover, without moderation, you will end up with a platform that has a pretty rough and uninviting tone and if any harmful real world incidents get instigated or planned on the platform, this badly reflects on the platform in the public eye.
 
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appaws

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It's crazy the amount of effort clown world puts into the "trans" thing, considering the tiny number of people it actually impacts. I guess they had a crazy amount of energy built up for the debate on gay "marriage" and it had to go somewhere after they got that gift from Anthony Kennedy.
 

dionysus

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This won't fly in countries with anti hate-speech laws (e.g. Germany) - they would be legally responsible for what people write there. Moreover, without moderation, you will end up with a platform that has a pretty rough and uninviting tone and if any harmful real world incidents get instigated or planned on the platform, this badly reflects on the platform in the public eye.
In context, I was speaking about moderating upon the basis of causing offense.

I agree there are certain activities that should be banned on platforms, though I am sure my list and your list would not agree on all points. I would err on the side of allowing speech even if it is reprehensible. But yes, incitement toward specific, key word specific, instances of crime and terrorism should be banned.
 
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Breakage

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Shutting down dissenting opinions in regard to transgenderism isn't surprising. That's the strategy for normalising it.
It's in the interests of trans activists to see the number of people who identify as transgender grow.

I mean just think about this for a second: we say that someone struggling with anorexia has a serious mental health condition (the NHS in the UK uses this exact phrasing on its website), even though anorexia only concerns one aspect of one's body, namely body fat.
Yet when someone feels that they were born in the "wrong" body ie they reject their entire body, we are encouraged to believe that this is not a mental health condition, but is in fact a normal mode of thinking that should be accepted and even celebrated.
 
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Sqorin Hammerfarf

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I feel that this a fundamental issue with moderation: No one can be an expert on everything and thus moderators can make clearly wrong dicisions without bad intentions. It is good the dicision was revoked afterwards.
Hmm. If it were once or twice, or even just a hundred times, I’d agree with you. But the Twitter moderators consistently make the same mistakes, against the same people and the same content, over and over and over and over, that I have to believe they don’t see it as mistakes - and they only walk back these “mistakes” when they are forced to by negative PR.
 
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StormCell

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This won't fly in countries with anti hate-speech laws (e.g. Germany) - they would be legally responsible for what people write there. Moreover, without moderation, you will end up with a platform that has a pretty rough and uninviting tone and if any harmful real world incidents get instigated or planned on the platform, this badly reflects on the platform in the public eye.
Are you suggesting that if I write something that isn't legal in China, Twitter is legally responsible for what I write there? If no, then why should they care about German hate-speech laws? Are you sure that national hate-speech laws are the real reason why social media platform moderation does the things it does and it's not some other PR reason?
 

AV

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This won't fly in countries with anti hate-speech laws (e.g. Germany) - they would be legally responsible for what people write there. Moreover, without moderation, you will end up with a platform that has a pretty rough and uninviting tone and if any harmful real world incidents get instigated or planned on the platform, this badly reflects on the platform in the public eye.
Am I missing something obvious here? What about sites like 4chan where you can write almost anything you want and not have your comment deleted? Is it because there's no name attributed to the comment or something?
 

Sqorin Hammerfarf

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It's a matter of perspective. Depends which side you are.
My perspective is that they stalk people on Twitter, waiting for them to slip up, then use Twitter to draw undue attention to their mistake, creating an outrage, then an angry mob, and ultimately resulting in the destruction of that person's life. Like, I've seen them go after people barely of note, with a few dozen followers - small time artists for barely acknowledged indie games. How do they know who this person is, much less that they said something to pounce on, unless they were doing it intentionally?

Twitter is what gives them the power to harm others, and it is how they choose their victims. How much damage has Twitter done to science, gaming, industry, and creativity on behalf of these psychos?
 
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juliotendo

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He didn’t say anything hurtful or intentionally inflammatory. All he did was state his scientific opinion based on his experiences through his work and research.

And yes, even if you have 100 surgeries to change your sexual organ, you are still biologically what you were at birth.

Since when did pure empirical science become hateful???
 
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DeafTourette

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Are you suggesting that if I write something that isn't legal in China, Twitter is legally responsible for what I write there? If no, then why should they care about German hate-speech laws? Are you sure that national hate-speech laws are the real reason why social media platform moderation does the things it does and it's not some other PR reason?
He's talking about people writing stuff like "I'm going to kill so and so" or something akin to that... And then the person does it... Twitter or another platform can be held liable for not reporting it or banning the person (if they're conspiring out in the open with another)
 
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Barnabot

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My perspective is that they stalk people on Twitter, waiting for them to slip up, then use Twitter to draw undue attention to their mistake, creating an outrage, then an angry mob, and ultimately resulting in the destruction of that person's life. Like, I've seen them go after people barely of note, with a few dozen followers - small time artists for barely acknowledged indie games. How do they know who this person is, much less that they said something to pounce on, unless they were doing it intentionally?

Twitter is what gives them the power to harm others, and it is how they choose their victims. How much damage has Twitter done to science, gaming, industry, and creativity on behalf of these psychos?
You just described pretty much the M.O. of any of those "bigot alert" threads which they are running there. The bigger problem imo is not only those a**holes doing that. Is the other end giving them too much credit for.
 
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StormCell

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He's talking about people writing stuff like "I'm going to kill so and so" or something akin to that... And then the person does it... Twitter or another platform can be held liable for not reporting it or banning the person (if they're conspiring out in the open with another)
Are you sure? I don't think he is. I've sub-quoted what I'm referring to below.

This won't fly in countries with anti hate-speech laws (e.g. Germany) - they would be legally responsible for what people write there.
The claim is that no platform moderation wouldn't fly in countries with anti hate-speech laws. Everyone knows that threats of physical violence are illegal and the author can be arrested. What's the point of moderation in those cases? He's clearly talking about moderators moderating unpopular thoughts and opinions.
 

crowbrow

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Hmm. If it were once or twice, or even just a hundred times, I’d agree with you. But the Twitter moderators consistently make the same mistakes, against the same people and the same content, over and over and over and over, that I have to believe they don’t see it as mistakes - and they only walk back these “mistakes” when they are forced to by negative PR.
To be fair, Twitter recently made a similar mistake for the other side.


A network of this size will inevitably make moderation mistakes. The important thing is that they correct them.
 

Outrunner

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Since his account was restored, this still basically boils down to why a large group of internet goons would be upset with his statements in the first place.

Saying that sex reassignment surgery shouldn't happen until you're 21 doesn't sound all that crazy to me. And saying that you're still biologically male or female even after the surgery seems like a no-brainer as well. Why would such a factual statement with no hostility or ill intent behind it get so many people upset?
He said transgenderism is a mental disorder. Which, even though true, is considered transphobic.
 
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Sqorin Hammerfarf

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KINGMOKU

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Since his account was restored, this still basically boils down to why a large group of internet goons would be upset with his statements in the first place.

Saying that sex reassignment surgery shouldn't happen until you're 21 doesn't sound all that crazy to me. And saying that you're still biologically male or female even after the surgery seems like a no-brainer as well. Why would such a factual statement with no hostility or ill intent behind it get so many people upset?
This is happening becuase its become hateful to use science and facts over feelings. What he is stating is the truth, period. No human being can stop being a Male or female because they feel like it. This isnt an argument or debate.

Now in the future if science can actually transition a person to a different sex, I dont think anyone would care whatsoever as it's real.

Twitter is just another tool for people who hate(HATE)people having different opinions(in this case facts)then them.

Why do people just deny reality? Its utterly confusing.