Men and women are speaking out against sexual harassment and violence online, and the social media site is playing an important role in the fight against this issue. While there is no universally accepted way to prevent sexual harassment and violence, Twitter users have found a way to speak out and be heard. In a recent article, NCOSE published a complaint against Twitter for its lack of enforcement of its anti-revenge porn policy. While many of these tweets were not anonymous, there are some clear messages that emerge in the discourse.
Suspension rates for sex workers’ accounts
Recent figures show that suspension rates for sexual workers’ accounts on Twitter are increasing by eighty-two percent, and they have doubled since the beginning of the year. In fact, one study found that on average, 34 sex workers’ accounts are deleted every day. Twitter’s decision to delete these accounts might be part of their New Year’s housekeeping, but some Twitter users still don’t agree with the practice.
While Twitter’s platform is generally known for being adult-friendly, other social networks are starting to censor content related to adult content. While Instagram and Tumblr have changed their policy wording to make it clear that they do not tolerate porn content, individual sex workers’ accounts may still be suspended by these large platforms. They may be flagged for violating terms of service and may be subject to shadowbans.
Number of sex workers’ accounts deleted since January 1st
Amberly Rothfield, an adult industry consultant, has monitored more than 5,000 accounts of sex workers and found that 704 of these accounts were deleted in the first six months of 2018. Her data shows an increase of nearly 80 percent, with 34 accounts deleted each day. She also claims that there are some accounts that may have been deleted intentionally. However, there is no evidence that Twitter will take action against these accounts.
NCOSE’s complaint against Twitter
The NCOSE Law Center has won permission to cross-appeal in a federal lawsuit against Twitter. They worked with the Haba Firm in Florida and the Matiasic Firm in California to win the case. Their attorneys were able to win an important victory against Twitter in August 2021, when a judge dismissed the federal claims of direct sex trafficking and child pornography. Whether they will prevail on appeal is unclear, but the decision will have a significant impact on the future of the internet.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, an organization based in the U.S., argues that Twitter is facilitating a safe haven for pornography by providing a platform for third parties to post links to pornographic videos containing child pornography. This is illegal, as is blackmailing or soliciting obscenity from minors. NCOSE is seeking to hold Twitter accountable under the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which makes online platforms liable for sexual content.
NCOSE’s criticism of Twitter’s policies on revenge porn
The latest news about NCOSE and its critics of social media companies is alarming. The organization’s criticisms of Twitter, EBSCO, and libraries for promoting pornography are based on unfounded claims. It’s also not true that pornography leads to sexual misbehavior or a public health crisis. In fact, research shows that there’s a decline in such behaviors, not a rise.
To prevent the spread of such content, Twitter has introduced new policies to help protect victims. The new rules will require users who post such content to verify their identity and demonstrate that the content was made without consent. If they fail to do so, their accounts will be suspended. In the UK, posting “revenge porn” videos and images is a criminal offense. Penalties can range up to two years. However, Twitter argues that the new policies help balance the rights of victims while ensuring safe use of social media.
NCOSE’s lawsuit against Elon Musk
The National Center for Sexual Exploitation is suing Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, to stop hosting child sexual abuse content on his social media network. As the owner of Twitter, Musk has the authority to remove material that it verifies is sexually explicit. The National Center for Sexual Exploitation has cited Twitter’s failure to moderate content as one of the reasons it has not been held accountable. Furthermore, the company has refused to take down verified material related to child sexual abuse.
In response to the lawsuit, Musk has agreed to pay a flight attendant $250,000 to settle allegations that he had sexually harassed her on the airplane. The company did not take down the videos, but an anonymous person who was part of the settlement process said the CEO was “completely untrue” about the allegations. However, this is not the only public harassment claim against Elon Musk that has made him the target of a lawsuit.