FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP/KDKA) — Twitter suspended an Indiana congressman’s official account after removing a post about a transgender Biden administration official over a violation of the social media company’s rules.
Twitter’s action Saturday came after Republican Rep. Jim Banks posted tweets last week regarding Dr. Rachel Levine becoming the first openly transgender four-star officer in the U.S. uniformed services. Levine is also the nation’s assistant secretary of health and was Pennsylvania’s former health secretary.READ MORE: Major Outage Hits Amazon Web Services, Affecting Many Sites
Banks had responded to the U.S. surgeon general congratulating Levine on her promotion in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps by writing: “The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man.”
The post was removed with a reference to Twitter rules that include a ban on “targeted misgendering” of transgender people. Banks’ official Twitter account remained online Sunday but he wasn’t allowed to add new posts. His personal account with fewer followers remained active.READ MORE: Port Authority Holds Public Meetings On Mon Valley Transit Upgrades
Banks, whose district covers Fort Wayne and surrounding northeastern Indiana, has frequently drawn attention with right-wing social media comments. He stood by his post about Levine.
“My tweet was a statement of fact,” Banks said in a statement. “Big Tech doesn’t have to agree with me, but they shouldn’t be able to cancel me. If they silence me, they will silence you. We can’t allow Big Tech to prevent us from telling the truth.”
Appointed by President Joe Biden, Levine became the nation’s highest ranking openly transgender official earlier this year. As Pennsylvania’s health secretary, she was known for her work on the opioid epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Reports 849 New Cases
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