Read the full article by Charlie Tetiyevsky at XBIZ.com

LOS ANGELES — As the sun sets on online freedoms, sex workers of all kinds — including adult performers — are quietly and swiftly being silenced on social media. Rightfully they’re fed up, and instead of sitting back and taking it, SWers are doing what they have done for centuries and taking their careers by the reins. The new website Switter, a portmanteau of “sex worker” and “Twitter,” began making waves in the community this week, an alternative social network that’s created by, and for, sex workers.

Switter’s creation was initially in response to sites like Twitter, where those in the sex industry have been finding themselves “shadow banned.” It’s a feature meant to hide spam that’s instead been leveraged, clearly, to silence “unwanted” voices. Facebook and Instagram don’t support adult content at all, and the latter outright bans accounts that imply too much raunchiness — even if that just means a nipple in a painting. And even Skype, the platform that many independent SWers use to run their private shows, has specified in their Code of Conduct that the services not be used for “inappropriate content or material” like “nudity” and “pornography.”

With Twitter in particular the censorship got so bad, cam model and femdom QueenMisty420 explained to XBIZ, that they even “blocked certain hashtags from showing anything under the media tab, so if you used #fetish for example nothing would show under that hashtag in a search. My interactions went down to practically nil after I was shadow banned. It was so detrimental that I basically had to stop using Twitter.”

Not only do SWers have limited means of increasing their fan bases when they’re shadow banned, they are also hidden from the conversations at large and prevented from speaking their piece in movements like #metoo.

With the passing of SESTA/FOSTA these restrictions on SW visibility and web access have and will become even more stringent, possibly sending thousands of SWers off of the platforms that currently help them both bring in customers and trade information among one another to stay safe and informed.