Social media platforms and financial institutions are notorious for being anti ANY type of sexual or adult content. It’s not just about censorship and hiding the content, but about stopping those dirty dirty sex people from making any money from it by closing down sources of income, promotional avenues, advertising spaces.
In some cases they have users flag their content as adult content. I have zero problem with this. It seems a sensible way to handle it. But many platforms simply won’t deal with any kind of perfectly legal adult content at all.
- Paypal freezes accounts that it deems to be making money off adult content.
- Facebook removes posts that have any level of unacceptable nudity, including, you know, women’s nipples.
- Fetlife struggled to find card processing companies that would take their business, and changed their terms of service to placate the one who would.
- WordPress and Blogger do random purges of sex blogs.
The list goes on.
Recently two more platforms raised red flags.
- Patreon has updated its terms of service to more specifically exclude some types of explicit content. Adult content creators are worried. The details are not quite clear: they have always been adult-content friendly in the past and seem open to community discussion, so this may level out.
- Twitter is ‘shadowbanning’ sex-related accounts without warning.
This last discovery about Twitter is what prompted this post. It’s not a new thing on social media, a search will reveal that it’s been going on forever. It’s essentially a method by which a platform silently and stealthily reduces someone’s reach to ‘punish’ them for doing the wrong thing.
I’d never even heard of it until someone raised it as an issue on Twitter.
My account on Twitter is shadowbanned. So are the accounts of many of the sex bloggers from our little corner of the internet. What that means is that I don’t appear in searches at all, that anyone who doesn’t follow me can’t see my content if it’s retweeted, my comments won’t appear under hashtags, some people I talk to won’t see my comments, I’m essentially made invisible to anyone who doesn’t already follow me.
I have no idea why I have been shadowbanned (I mentioned that it’s done without warning, right?). Not only don’t I know why, there is no way to know how to get the ban lifted, or if it will ever get lifted. Despite being a sex blogger, I don’t tweet anything explicit. And I certainly don’t tweet hate or spam or abuse at anyone.
Apart from the ‘social media that doesn’t allow me to be social’ suckage, the most negative consequence of this shadowban is that Twitter is really the only tool I use to do any publicity, to tell people about my blog, to point them to my books, and without a platform where information is easily shared, I’m really only talking to people who already know about them (“Geez Ferns, WE KNOW THAT ALREADY!”).
I am notoriously bad at self promotion, but Twitter is where I can engage in casual banter with friends AND throw in the occasional ‘hey I’m over here, I wrote a thing!’ callout and hope to get one more person to take a look at a non-stereotypical happy-making version of F/m and go ‘aw yeah!’ and you know, maybe sell a book or two and be able to buy a cup of coffee on the strength of my writing.
So yeah, I’m kind of bummed.
So to the point of this post (yes there was one!): What can you do to help?
Share the content of sex bloggers you love.
If you’re a blogger, pick some content you loved that week and share it on Saturday, mention the #SoSS meme, and then promote your post wherever you have a voice.
If you’re a reader, if you might previously have thought to yourself ‘good post!’ and clicked away. Please take a second to share it somewhere. Most bloggers have sharing buttons, so it’s easy enough to just click it: Done.
If it’s not a Saturday, that’s okay too because Share our Shit Someotherday (#SoSS). Seriously, just share it.
I’m a bit slow off the mark and it’s already Sunday here, but I don’t care. I’m going to cheat some and share some *other* people’s #SoSS posts (I am going broader than my normal F/m focus for this one: I think it’s important to support everyone who is being penalised for creating adult content).
by Molly’s Daily Kiss
Share Our Shit Saturday! #SoSS by Erosblog
#SoSS Posts that made me squirm by Cara Thereon
Sexy link roundup: sexual rights, anticipation and acrostic poetry by Girl On The Net
If you want to check if your twitter account is shadowbanned, you can test it here (note that locked accounts will always show as shadowbanned, so those results don’t count).