Anti-Trans Scottish MP Accused of Mass Reporting Accounts of Transgender Twitter Users
Joan McAlpine, a SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament representing the South Scotland region may have accidentally outed herself using a dummy Gmail account associated with another twitter account used to mass report transgender twitter users and their allies.
McAlpine publicly identifies as “Gender Critical” which is a sanitized term for transphobic.
The incident occurred November 17th when McAlpine boasted via her official twitter about having gotten Dr. Jennifer M. Jones, an award winning journalist and transgender rights activist, temporarily banned from the platform.
However, people immediately noticed there was something suspect about McAlpine’s screenshot. It deviated from Twitter’s traditional response under such conditions or had been edited to exclude which rules Jones violated- a reference that is always included in the automated response provided to the complainant upon conclusion of an investigation. Many began to point out the anomaly in McAlpine’s screenshot.
Indeed, the image McAlpine shared was edited, which she alleged she simply cropped and decided to share the original, uncropped version. What she shared, however, revealed something much more sinister.
The new screenshot McAlpine posted revealed that it wasn’t associated with the twitter account she was using, but instead what appeared to be a shill account- one with no profile picture- and had been used to make at least a dozen reports to twitter.
Twitter sleuths immediately pointed out the suspicious activity in McAlpine’s image.
In an effort to institute some damage control, McAlpine insisted that she hadn’t made the report against Jones, and that the resulting screenshots she had shared had been sent to her by a third party.
Unfortunately for McAlpine, Twitter narrowed its reporting policy earlier this year which now disallows users from making harassment reports on behalf of another user. When attempting to make a report for a third party, the user is given a prompt which declines processing the complaint and instead asks the user to have the person affected issue the report instead.
For example, people who attempted to report Donald Trump Jr. for outing the alleged name of the whistleblower via Twitter during the impeachment inquiry of the American President, they were greeted with this:
Since as early as June, Twitter has not accepted complaints made on behalf of another user. This led many to believe that McAlpine was not being honest.
McAlpine, who has over 22,000 followers and whose public screenshot named Jones, also from Scotland, resulted in Jones becoming inundated with abuse from McAlpine’s fellow “Gender Critical” followers which only set another ominous precedent. A politician putting a private citizen in harms way by publishing their name and social media handle, effectively dog-whistling hostile followers to attack them.
As reported by the BBC last month, transgender and non-binary people on social media endure torrents of abuse daily by those who subscribe to the dangerous and baseless “Gender Critical” ideology which argues that transgender women are men and should not be allowed to participate in feminist activism; Are masquerading as women only in effort to gain access to “Women Only” spaces such as locker rooms and public bathrooms and are a threat to young children. It is not altogether dissimilar to the ideology that enabled segregation of people by race, with white supremacists arguing black people should not share schools, playgrounds, restaurants or neighborhoods with white people because they are dangerous to white women and children. It’s the same old bigotry, re-branded to target another minority.
People began taking McAlpine to task for abusing her large platform and the support of her followers to enable the targeted harassment of another party. Overwhelmed by abuse from McAlpine supporters, Jones has been forced to make her twitter feed private.
While the allegations against McAlpine keep mounting, she maintains her innocence, claiming that the reason the screenshots differ is due to twitter emailing her two separate variations.
The issue with this defense? How did Twitter send the results of the complaint directly to her to screenshot the email if it was a complaint made by someone else? She states “They emailed it to me” after earlier claiming the screenshots had been sent to her by another user and that she never made the initial report. The reply wouldn’t have gone to Joan. With many twitter users speculating that McAlpine uses a second twitter account to mass report transgender individuals and community allies, it only amplified the deep discomfort people feel given that on Transgender Day Of Remembrance, she promoted and participated in a heinous Anti-Trans Parliamentary event wherein the most notorious “Gender Critical” figures were invited to speak in condemnation of transgender people.
As an MP, McAlpine has a duty to ALL of her constituents to represent them fairly and with equal interest in improving life quality across her jurisdiction. Proudly identifying as “Gender Critical” while using such a position of power to threaten, intimidate ad silence transgender people demonstrates her inability to perform this task due to her own prejudices.