Speak Out: Is There An Internet War on Sex?
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Is the internet, as Chris Crocker put it, becoming anti-sex?
As you may already know, Tumblr recently announced its “adult content” ban effective on December 17, 2018—and reportedly, Facebook has made a similar move. The announcements have caused social media frenzy and the netizens are saying, and we quote, the “internet war on sex is here.”
But why did Tumblr and Facebook revised their community standards? Tumblr said it is to, among many others: provide safe content for the entire community in general, to keep harmful posts away from minors, and to ban contents that promote child pornography. Facebook, on the other hand, said the policy was put in place to prevent sexual solicitations.
The details of the guidelines however, say it’s so much more than these reasons and that’s what had put the netizens in a tizzy. For example, Tumblr‘s adult content ban “primarily includes photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts.” Facebook on the other hand, has a longer list. To summarize, users can’t post photos and videos that are sexual in nature but what got a rise out of its users the most is their censorship on use of sexually explicit language because it may “lead to solicitation.” For example, you’ll get banned by simply mentioning sexual roles, sex positions, or sexual preference/sexual partner preference among many others.
(This technically also makes saying “I’m straight” worthy of a ban, too)
— Laurie Voss (@seldo) December 5, 2018
I *think* that means: mentioning a specific sexual act together with any of the bullets, not the bullets alone
though I would sure love more clarity on this
— Sophie Alpert (@sophiebits) December 6, 2018
This kind of policy has and will continue to hurt marginalized people. In this case, primarily sex workers but tumblrs new content policy has massively affected the lgbt community and the chronic pain community as well.
This kind of policy is dangerous and downright malicious.
— Corvida͆ͯͫ͟͏̵̛̹͍̠̺̻̞͎̹̠̥̼̳̬͟ͅe (@Ms_Corvidae) December 6, 2018
I think it has more to do with the fact the US just passed some anti sex trafficking laws that make the platforms responsible for things like prostitution and such. So now they’re trying to close all that down because they don’t want to be fined or charged with anything.
— Cody (a WHOLE bitch) (@ARTPOPisaGIFT) December 6, 2018
If you really want that to happen, first focus on getting congress to repeal FOSTA-SESTA, which is the reason these rule changes were implemented in the first place. https://t.co/Q3ypzsfDpP
— KiriyaAoi (@Kiriya_Aoi9) December 7, 2018
Having said all that, of course netizens agree that online communities should not exist to promote anything illegal like child pornography nor is it a place to promote hate speech, violence, terrorism, self-harm etc. Users, however, turn divisive when it comes to posting adult contents and anything sexually provocative including the use of sexually explicit language. The result they say is the “death of unique blogs that explore sexuality” on Tumblr while Facebook’s updated community standards seem to ban sex and sexuality in general. Many have also expressed concerns about the possibility that the other social media platforms will follow suit.
But what about you, what is your take on this issue? Does it or does it not matter to you and why? How does it affect your social media use? More importantly, what is FOSTA-SESTA and for Adam4Adam users who live outside the United States, what does the law in your country say about online adult content? Sound off below!