The Washington state health department censored dozens of tweets critical of an ad campaign for cervical cancer awareness that warned “transmasculine persons with a cervix” of the disease instead of women.
“Transmasculine persons with a cervix should talk to their doctor about #CervicalCancer screening and the #HPVvax,” the Washington Department of Health posted on Jan. 13, while encouraging its 61,000 followers to “Find a LGBTQ-welcoming provider.”
The post, which came four days after a tweet that generically urged readers to get “vaccinated against HPV” to fight the disease, was widely lampooned by respondents on Twitter.
“This is mental illness,” PR expert Jeremy Knauff replied to the post.
Other commenters wrote things like “You mean women?” and “Why are you misogynists trying to cancel women?”
The department then hid over 40 of the responses critical of the ad campaign but “unhid” them after “The Jason Rentz Show” on Seattle’s KTTH inquired about the coverup, according to the conservative radio show.
Department spokeswoman Nikki Ostergaard told The Post the DOH has a policy of removing comments that are deemed “discriminatory” or “offensive.”
“Comments with offensive content were hidden by staff over the weekend. Upon second review and evaluation, several comments which were originally hidden were unhidden, while comments which violated our policy have remained hidden,” she said.
Transmasculine is a term that refers to people “whose gender identity is partially or fully masculine and differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth,” according to Merriam-Webster’s definition of the adjective.
“Raising awareness about the importance of cervical screenings is important. But an awareness campaign that they know will illicit mockery doesn’t help the cause,” Rentz said.