Mainstream social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat are currently influencing almost every aspect of our daily lives. Their social impact is huge and they managed to get 2.3 billion total active users hooked. That’s almost a third of the world population, so it’s fair to say that these social networks have been running the show for more than a decade now.
We honestly believe that a real competition between these platforms doesn’t really exist. Their interests are aligned, they support each other indirectly and they are basically one social giant ruling over this planet. Facebook has a Twitter account and vice versa, Instagram is owned by Facebook. It’s like three presidential candidates promoting each other in their speeches. While they provide all sorts of advantages, like easy interaction, fast access to information, a new way of advertising and so on, being dependent on these mainstream platforms, that have the power to change your life drastically, is a tricky path to follow.
The best example is the controversial adult content ban that has been trending lately. After the Tumblocalypse, like Forbes called the Tumblr’s NSFW ban from December last year, Twitter might be the next to follow. While much more friendly towards adult content than all the other mainstream platforms, in March this year, Twitter updated their sensitive media policy to include some vague and frankly, a bit confusing information.
Here is what we know so far. The old policy stated that as long as you mark your content as containing sensitive media, you are allowed to Tweet freely. There are some exceptions, of course, since they believe some types of sensitive media “have the potential to normalize violence and cause distress to those who view them.” Fair enough, but On the other hand, after the March update, the following addition to the policy was made.
They are basically saying that you are allowed to post sensitive media as long as it is marked sensitive, but don’t overdo it, because otherwise you may be permanently suspended. This may be is stressfully concerning in the sense that it doesn’t explain how exactly they decide which account gets disabled and which doesn’t. Some are suspended due to primarily posting adult content, but some aren’t, because… who knows! So, in other words, all sex workers will walk on eggshells from now on and live in fear of losing their accounts. This update to the Twitter TOS generated a lot of confusion among them and endless threads of discussions are now rolling, regarding this subject. Many adult content creators expressed their concerns about the vagueness of the TOS and users claiming to be 100% in compliance with the Twitter rules still got suspended.
This could turn into Tumblr all over again and the small modification to the Terms of Service might be the calm before the storm. Only 3 percent of 321 million users have enabled the option to view media that may contain sensitive content, so it may not be such a huge loss for Twitter after all. The New York Times published an article about the Twitter Purge from July 2018, when the total follower count on the platform was reduced by almost 6 percent in the attempt of making users’ following more accurate, and they did it without notice. Even Twitter’s account lost 7.7 million followers in the process, according to the publication. We are not asserting that the social media platform doesn’t care about the 3 percent mentioned above, but the latter might just end up as collateral damage to a much higher game. All the other mainstream platforms are now “clean” and they don’t want to be left behind.
Fortunately, the internet is prepared for anything and has the best crisis management team. There are some alternatives to these mainstream social media platforms, some of them completely dedicated to SWers, where they are fully allowed to express their sexuality and free to unfold their kinky activities. We strongly believe that adult content creators should have a plan B, so they can continue doing what they love to do, in case the worst happens. It’s always better to have options, even if there wasn’t a clear risk on the horizon. With this in mind, some of the alternatives we are talking about are Reddit, Switter and, of course, our very own Sharesome.
Sharesome is a social media platform, created explicitly for adult content creators, that allows you to express yourself by posting videos, statuses, links, photos, or GIFs. You can freely advertise your already existing paysites, clipsites or camsites. The project is still in BETA though, so you might encounter glitches along the way, but the future looks very promising.
Reddit still allows adult content creators to submit their content, it’s very easy to use and it’s one of the most popular social websites in the world, raking as no 18 worldwide and no 13 in the United States. The downside is that they banned adult advertising this is year on the 16th of April. More details here.
Switter was launched in 2017 as an alternative to Twitter. Here users have to register their account on an instance, which is like a separate community and server part of a larger Mastodon federation. Their policies on adult content are inclusive and the social media network is already home to many Tumblr refugees. Switter is a sex work-friendly social space, with an abundantly clear media policy stating:
We allow most forms adult content in toots marked as containing sensitive media. However, you may not use such content in your profile or header images.
A possible Twitter adult content ban will have excruciating effects on the lives of countless SWers that have built their career on the platform and worked their butts off for years (no pun intended) to gain notoriety and a large fan base. Some of their income is generated from being active on social media, so they are basically left without a job.
Sex work is work, after all, and whoever says otherwise is entitled to their own opinion, of course, but they are misguided. Nobody is forcing anybody to watch porn, so people should be more tolerant, especially when we are living in a society where sex sells better than telemarketing did in the 20th century. The latest statistics show that porn sites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined each month, according to RoadToGrace. So why is porn such a taboo nowadays, when everyone is watching it so intensely? We might never get an answer to this question.