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Twitter suspends Rep. Jim Banks for misgendering Rachel Levine

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Twitter suspends Rep. Jim Banks for misgendering Rachel Levine
Rep, Jim Banks, R-Ind., said Saturday that his Twitter account was suspended after he intentionally misgendered Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary for health Rachel Levine in a tweet. File Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Rep. Jim Banks said his official Twitter account has been suspended after he intentionally misgendered Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary for health Rachel Levine in a tweet.

Banks, R-Ind., on Saturday shared a screenshot of the tweet where he referred to Levine, the first openly transgender Cabinet official confirmed by the Senate, as "a man" after she was named the first female and first transgender four-star officer of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

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A Twitter representative told The Hill Banks' account had been temporarily locked for violating the social network's Hateful Conduct policy.

The policy includes "targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals" as a violation of the policy.

"The account owner is required to delete the violative Tweet before regaining access to their account," the Twitter representative said.

Banks on Saturday described the tweet as a "statement of fact" and said he would continue to post from his personal account while the suspension is in place.

"Big Tech doesn't have to agree with me, but they shouldn't be able to cancel me," he wrote in a statement shared to his personal account. "If they silence me, they will silence you."

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He added that if Republicans gain a majority in the House next year that they must "restore honesty to our public forums and hold Big Tech accountable."

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