Republicans and conservatives who’ve been suspended from Twitter for referring to transgender individuals by their biological sex say they hope and expect that they will be allowed to return once billionaire Elon Musk takes control of the platform.

Musk, who bought Twitter earlier this week, promised to make significant changes to the platform, with a focus on free speech, and dangled the possibility of bringing back controversial users who have been banned.

Near the top of the list of reforms desired by conservatives is the provision of Twitter's hateful conduct policy, which prohibits "targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals" — meaning referring to transgender individuals by their biological sex as opposed to their gender identity or using the name they used before identifying as a different gender.

The rule has led to the suspensions of a number of high-profile conservatives.

Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, conservative activist Charlie Kirk, and Fox News host Tucker Carlson all had their Twitter accounts temporarily locked earlier this year because of the rule.

All three used their Twitter account to refer to U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, a trans woman, as a man, mocking USA Today for including Levine in its Women of the Year list.


Conservative humor publication the Babylon Bee remains banned from Twitter on the grounds that it misgendered Levine.

The rule is one of several aspects of Twitter's governance that conservatives have said reveals bias. Conservatives have also faulted Twitter for suppressing the news regarding Hunter Biden's laptop before the 2020 election and for deplatforming conservatives, such as former President Donald Trump, prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, among others.

Banks told the Washington Examiner that he expects Twitter’s hateful conduct policy to change under Musk and for banned conservatives and Republicans to return to the platform.

“It’s still a long way till Musk is in full control of Twitter, but in my understanding, it should be a foregone conclusion that these banned accounts related to transgender issues and others will be restored. That’s my expectation,” said Banks.

Twitter temporarily locked Banks's account, saying he would regain access if he deleted the tweet about Levine.

After a lengthy appeals process with Twitter, which he lost, Banks was forced to delete the tweet in question in order to regain access to his Twitter account, the congressman’s office confirmed.

“I’m encouraged by Musk. He’s said all the right things in regards to content moderation, and we want him to follow through and allow all lawful and accurate content,” said Banks.

Banks added that determining what content is factual and lawful is not difficult.

Conservatives have noted that some users have avoided suspension and censorship despite using violence-inciting language or violating Twitter's content rules, such as members of the leftist group antifa, the ayatollah of Iran, and China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri had her Twitter account suspended in February for violating the platform’s rules against hateful conduct because of a tweet in which she contended that “women’s sports are for women, not men pretending to be women,” referring to a college swimmer who is trans.

“It’s shameful, utterly ridiculous, and a horrible abuse of censorship by big tech giants to stifle free speech,” the Hartzler campaign said in a statement in February.

The campaign said it had no plans to take down the tweet, and Hartzler’s campaign Twitter account remains suspended.

“If Musk changed the content moderation rules and opened the door again, a lot of conservatives would come back again,” said Dan Gainor, vice president at the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog that tracks censorship on Big Tech platforms.


“A month ago, the entirety of Big Tech was against conservatives thanks to cancel culture and gender-related stuff. Now, that’s no longer the case. There’s been a tidal wave shift,” he said.