Morality In Media fucks Twitter

Twitter has not been an adult-friendly platform since at least 2019, when it added porn-hostile terms of service (TOS) that are so far mostly unenforced. But now comes word that our old friends at Morality In Media (recently rebranded under the anodyne acronym NCOSE, for National Center on Sexual Exploitation) have ginned up a lawsuit starring conveniently anonymous parties and an incidence of uploaded “child sexual material” they claim (plausibly enough) Twitter flailed at moderating. The idea is to do to Twitter what they did to Backpage, forcing a blanket Twitter ban on all sexual expression:

XBIZ News Editor Gustavo Turner told the Daily Dot that NCOSE believes the “majority of depictions of lawful sexual activity or commercial sex fall under ‘human trafficking.'” The civil action case is an extension of NCOSE’s goal: “the eradication of all free sexual expression” from “public discourse.”

“The Twitter lawsuit NCOSE is sponsoring has two aims: to test the exception to Section 230 that FOSTA created for matters supposedly dealing with what they call ‘human trafficking,’ and to pressure Twitter into preemptively [adopting] a corporate censorship stance regarding all sexual material,” Turner said. “The rationale behind NCOSE’s tactic is that if a platform, because of the sheer volume of third-party content uploaded, cannot verify the ‘consenting’ and/or the ‘adult’ parts of sexual content, it should preemptively ban all of it.”

The quote is from Anti-porn Organization Takes Aim at Twitter for NSFW Ban, Sex Workers Warn, which article in turn relies heavily on reporting from XBIZ: Religiously Inspired Group NCOSE Files FOSTA Lawsuit Against Twitter.

I don’t have a lot of analysis to add to those excellent articles. However, my pessimist take is that because of underlying #Pornocalypse inclinations already displayed by Twitter, this lawsuit (and others that will surely follow if this one gets any traction) won’t prompt Twitter to upgrade and humanize its account moderation team and algorithms. (Bad moderating is the only actual wrongdoing of which Twitter stands accused in this case.) Instead, it will give Twitter “cover” with the punditry for doing what its porn-squeamish investors (there are always squeamish investors) already want: some fully-automated over-broad machine censorship that drives porn broadly off the platform, a la Tumblr. And that will be the end of adult expression on any major/corporate social media platform.

My advice to all you “horny on main” Twitter users: Prepare for the pornocalypse. Keep doing your adult marketing while you can, but remember Bacchus’s First Rule, and build yourself a backup-plan website too, if you don’t already have one. And consider making a no-adult-content alt Twitter account for all your news and politics and other non-porn activity that’s important to you. You’ll be glad of it when the porn-moderating weather gets heavy on the platform.

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