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Twitter urged to intervene after trans kids charity Mermaids targeted with ‘parody’ account spreading dangerous ‘misinformation’

Patrick Kelleher September 2, 2020
Mermaids fake account Twitter transgender

Twitter has been urged to intervene after Mermaids, a charity offering support to trans children, was targeted by a “parody” Twitter account spreading anti-trans messages and “misinformation” under its name.

The “parody” account’s handle apes that of the officials Mermaids profile but is named “Not Mermaids Gender”. It claims to offer “reality based advice” to parents of “gender confused children” by sharing links to various anti-trans campaign groups, as well as “detransitioner” groups.

As well as various salacious claims about medical transition, including a thread claiming eight out of 10 trans men suffer pain post-orgasm made without any scientific basis but presented as medical fact based on the testimonies of two men, it has also linked to a widely-condemned anti-trans book calling trans lives a “craze seducing our daughters”.

Mermaids told PinkNews that it is aware of the account and thanked LGBT+ people and allies for reporting it to Twitter. It urged the social media platform to take swift action and remove the profile.

“This unfortunate stunt is just the latest attempt to discredit our charity and humiliate those we support,” said Jake Edwards, socials lead at Mermaids.

“We renew our call to those engaged in this behaviour to stop and consider whether they take responsibility for the serious damage being inflicted on the wellbeing of a vulnerable group of children and young people.

“As a charity, we can sustain such attacks, but our service users and supporters witness the unending misinformation with dismay.”

Mermaids noted that the account appeared shortly after it shared a blog post, titled “A call to JK Rowling”, which asked the Harry Potter author to “understand the impact” of her public statements about trans people.

In the blog post, the charity said it had become aware that some trans people had attempted suicide and self-harmed following Rowling’s comments.

Anti-trans activists unleashed a fierce online campaign against Mermaids following the publication of the blog post. A petition was set up on 38 Degrees, a campaign website, which wrongly accused Mermaids of “weaponising” suicide and self-harm and urged mental health charities to “condemn” the organisation.

The page has since been removed from the 38Degrees.co.uk website because it shared “inappropriate content”.

Speaking about the petition, Edwards said Mermaids will “not be threatened by cowardly people treating young lives as sport”.

“We will continue working for the families and young people who rely on us,” he added.

As of Wednesday afternoon (September 2), the parody account had more than 200 followers, including anti-trans campaigner Fred Sargeant.

PinkNews has contacted Twitter for comment.

 

More: mermaids, Twitter

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