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Professor suspended from Twitter after tweeting she hoped the Queen dies
23 February 2022, 23:06 | Updated: 23 February 2022, 23:09
An English professor has been suspended from Twitter after tweeting the UK Government saying she hopes the Queen dies.
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Berkeley English Professor Grace Lavery, who is transgender, was involved in a Twitter argument with an anti-trans activist when she wrote "I hope the queen dies", in a tweet that also tagged the UK Government.
Her comment comes just days after Queen Elizabeth tested positive for Covid.
The 95-year-old monarch is suffering from "mild cold-like symptoms", Buckingham Palace said, but she is still undertaking "light duties".
Prof Lavery's account was quickly suspended by Twitter.
She later told the Daily Mail that she supported social media companies taking action against hate directed at people online, but said she did not believe her comments warranted a suspension.
"I wholly support social media platforms taking action against harassment," she said.
"I do not think they should ban people for hoping that public figures die, whether the person in question is Elizabeth Windsor, Donald Trump, or Jeremy Corbyn."
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The professor - whose work at Berkeley focuses particularly on sexuality and gender - said the suspension of her account was a violation of her right to freedom of speech.
"Bans on discussing the Queen's death additionally have the (presumably unintended) effect of suppressing speech about the line of succession," she told the paper.
She also hit out at the 'pungent hypocrisy' from "free speech activists", saying she did not expect them to be "incensed" about the removal of her account.
She then took to Instagram and shared an apparently sarcastic post about the Queen.
Appearing to reference an earlier post that she said had been deleted, she wrote: "Let me say what everyone says about the queen."
She then posted an an extremely complimentary paragraph about the monarch in quotation marks, before a more critical one that appeared to more accurately reflect what she really thought.
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Buckingham Palace announced on Sunday that the Queen had tested positive for Covid.
Whilst it has not been confirmed how she caught the virus, she met with Prince Charles on February 8, days before he tested positive.
The Queen is the oldest member of the royal family to catch coronavirus.