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Social media rules sex-workers need to follow

Sex workers get deleted from social media platforms all the time. It’s impossible to keep your account 100 per cent safe but it is possible to give it very good chance of survival by following the community guidelines and being a valuable member of the network. 

If you’re reading this you probably had a Twitter or Instagram profile deleted and you don’t know why. It’s totally unfair! You didn’t break any rules! You didn’t post anything more sexual than a mainstream account! They just deleted you because you’re a sex worker! 

But is that really true, how well do you know each platform’s content moderation policies? Even if you do it’s always worth reading about them again and refreshing your knowledge. There is often some small rules you might forget. It’s so easy to break the community guidelines and get deleted just by posting what you feel would be ok on a mainstream profile. 

How moderation works

Before we talk about each platform’s rules, let’s talk about how content moderation works. I’ve heard many sex-workers explain how Instagram hates porn or Twitter doesn’t want escorts. 

Instagram and Twitter both set community guidelines for sexual content, nudity and sexual services. The platforms don’t even moderate their own content except in special circumstances. 

In general an outsourcing company will use an algorithm to flag content and profiles which may in violate their rules. Then a human moderator will decide if your content is ok or not. 

It’s that simple. I spoke to a moderator and there is no special agenda against sex workers. All you have to do is follow the rules and your account is safe. 

User reports

Your content and profile can also be reported by other Twitter and Instagram users. These reports are more tricky to deal with as the user may also lie about why they are reporting you. This is especially true if it’s an organised attack by an religous or anti-porn group. 

For example, they may tell the platform you made violent threats against them, you are responsible for sex trafficking, you threatened them with revenge porn or any number or disgusting crimes that moderators pay close attention to. 

In these cases the moderator will probably delete your account as a precaution. The platforms are risk averse and they are afraid of facilitating these crimes. They just don’t have time to collect evidence and make an informed decision.

The good news is when you appeal and explain the situation you will almost certainly get your account back — assuming your account follows their community guidelines. 

Instagram rules for sex workers

The most important rules to follow in Instagram’s community guidelines cover sexual content and sexual services. Instagram doesn’t allow you to post sexual content or to promote sexual services directly or indirectly.

Let’s breakdown what that means and discuss everything you might do that could get you deleted. Let’s start with. . .

Pornographic content

This is easily the most contentious rule. Instagram doesn’t allow pornographic content but they have their own definition of pornography. Your photos don’t need to show dicks and tits to be classed as porn.

Instagram define pornographic content as having no other purpose than to turn someone on. It’s so important to keep this in mind when you post content. 

This will get you deleted even if you’re not a sex-worker. I’ve seen many famous Instagram models get deleted for posting “pornographic content”. Here are some tips on how to avoid this.

Sexual interaction: avoid any sexual interaction in your photos. Never touch anyone in a way that couldn’t be described as friendly. Don’t French kiss. Don’t even imply a french kiss. Posting behind the scenes or porn content photos from a scene before performers get nude is a huge no too. Only interact with people in ways you would touch someone in public. Don’t post anything too intimate or with even a suggestion of sexuality. If you are still not sure what content is pornographic then a useful guide is if you wouldn’t show it to your family then don’t put it on your Instagram.

Skin tone: avoid having too much skin in your photos. Step back from the camera more. Generally I try to always have no more than 1/3 of a picture taken up by skin tone. For example, if you are at the beach, show more of the beach and less of you. The bigger percentage your skin takes up in the photo, the more likely it is that the algorithm will flag your content as possible porn. 

Sex toys: sex toys are not allowed on Instagram. Don’t use them. In fact don’t even use regular objects like sex toys. Think it’s cute to suck a candy cane or vegetable in a suggestive way? This is exactly the kind of thing that can get you deleted. There are so many more interesting things you can post so don’t put your account at risk just because you want to be sexually suggestive. People already know you are a sex-worker, you don’t need to give a visual demonstration on Instagram. 

Make your photos about something: if your photos are just hot pics of you then it’s easy to see why Instagram thinks they are pornographic. It’s a bit lazy. The only purpose of the photo is to turn people on and hope they buy your content or services. So get involved in the community. Share your passions. You can look hot and show something else at the same time. Travel, cooking, restaurants, fashion, galleries, sport, show some talent, sing, make music, dance, just do something more interesting than sat in your underwear for no reason. 

When you can post nude and sexual content: there are exceptions to Instagram’s sexual and nude content rules. Nude art (not photography or film!) is allowed. Nudes that are relevant to important news stories are allowed too. Sexual content is also allowed for education purposes as well as for humour. If you are a sex worker I would focus on humour. You can be very sexual so long as you are funny. Currently tight clothes with no bra or panties are allowed on Instagram. Cameltoes and nipples showing through clothes are ok so long as the clothes are not transparent.

Captions and hastags

It might sound crazy but it’s not enough to avoid sexual content in your images and videos. You need to do the same in your caption and hashtags. 

The important thing is to avoid anything spammy that’s just obviously pushing users to buy your porn or sexual services. You should already have a link to your paid content or services in your bio so there is no need to promote it here. Users will find your sexual content or sexual services if they are interested in them. 

Just caption your pic with something funny, cool or trending and use Instagram like a regular user. Make your caption relevant to the photo and just focus on having a great Instagram account, not on making sales. 

Avoid sexual words, don’t even use suggestive emojis like the eggplant. Things like this will only get you flagged. 

When it comes to hashtags make them relevant to your photo, don’t be spammy. No one likes a spammer. And watch out for banned hashtags. Some hashtags are banned because people post too much banned or illegal content using them. 

If you use a banned hashtag you could attract the attention of a moderator or find your post gets a lot less views. So always check if hashtags are banned before you post. Many are obvious like #porn or #onlyfans but some are much less obvious like #sunbathing.

You can find banned hastags online so you have no excuse for not knowing. If you want to take a more professional approach, use an app like Hashtag Expert to generate your hashtags. You will avoid banned hashtags and you will get more views on your posts by generating smarter tags. If you suck at captions download a caption generator app too!

Sexual services

Sexual services like escorting or tantric massage are not allowed to be promoted on Instagram, not even indirectly. 

I recommend never promoting your in-person sexual services on Instagram. Never even discuss the topic. 

Even discussing it in your direct messages is not a good idea. If a client approaches you there, move them to email or another messenger. If you have any dispute with the client they will be able to screenshot your conversation and report you. 

Do not link directly to a site that sells your in person sexual services or even your own website. Instead use Allmylinks or a similar service as a barrier between Instagram profile and the sexual services you offer. 

If you are a travelling sex-worker, the most promotion you can get away with is to simply announce you presence in different cities or say you are available as a model. Never say more than this. 

In a similar way to captions you should avoid being too sexual or using banned hashtags in your bio. It’s only going to draw the wrong kind of attention. 

Instead of pornstar, you’re a smut merchant. Instead of selling nudes on OnlyFans, you have hotter content available on OF. Be subtle, be playful, be smart. 

Use a service like Allmylinks to link to your porn or sexual services. If you only have one service that you link to and you prefer to link directly, then make sure the landing page contains no porn or nudity.

If you are linking to adult content directly it should carry a warning to indicate the content is for people aged 18 or over before they see anything inappropriate.  

Tagging

This is the one most people don’t know about. You are a sex-worker but you have a real life too. You probably tag people, places and products in your stories and posts. 

But did you get consent before you tagged them?

Most businesses are happy for the publicity but many businesses don’t want any association with you. This is particularly important on your feed. When you tag products, people and brands on your feed your profile shows on their feed. 

You are forcing them to promote sexual services or pornographic content. So if you tag someone that doesn’t want to be associated with you and they report you, you could get deleted by a moderator. 

Always get consent before you tag a someone, particularly on your feed. As a rule you should only tag other sex-workers or people that consent. 

A smart workaround is to have a separate profile for your lifestyle that doesn’t have anything to do with adult content or sexual services. Use this one to tag brands and restaurants and link it to your professional profile. It’s more work but it’s better than getting deleted. 

Follow all these rules and it’s very unlikely you will get deleted from Instagram, now you mastered that, let’s talk about. . .

Twitter rules for sex workers

Twitter has always been the most tolerant social network towards sex-workers. For years you could post anything you wanted including porn. 

But now if you want to post adult content, you have to mark your posts as containing sensitive content. When you do this you are kind of shadow-banning yourself. Your posts won’t show in search results and people will need to opt-in to see your posts or hit the reveal button. 

In general this kills your engagement and follower growth. You will only really grow from retweets and cross promotion from other adult content accounts. The chance of a tweet going viral on the platform are close to zero. 

I highly recommend making your Twitter content 100 per cent safe for work and removing the sensitive content mark from your tweets. You will grow a lot faster and it has zero effect on the sales of your adult content or sexual services. You don’t need to be vulgar to sell sex.

I will discuss Twitter strategies in-depth in other articles so for now let’s focus on the rules you need to follow to stop getting your profile deleted.

Avatar and header

One of the main reasons for getting deleted form Twitter is when you put nudity or pornography in your header or profile pic.

Just never ever do this. It will get you deleted so quickly. This also means don’t post nude art in your header and avatar. Avoid any adult content appearing in this section.

Do not link to or promote an adult site here. Do not promote your OnlyFans here. Do not promote your sexual services here. Do not promote your own pornographic or sexual service site here. Do not promote other pornographic companies here.

It’s great for Vixen, Blacked et al if you promote their brands in your header and avatar but you get nothing from this. All you are doing is putting your account at risk and promoting someone else’s porn. 

If you really want to promote them just make a tweet, a fleet, tag them in your bio or put their link in the link section. 

Spam posting

It’s important to be an active member of the Twitter community. I see many sex-workers don’t really use Twitter properly. It’s supposed to be a place to share content, links and have real conversations. 

It’s a place where normal people can chat with celebrities. It’s an amazing platform when you think of it. 

I see many sex workers get lazy and they don’t really post Twitter content or engage with the community. Instead their feed is full of promotional links to all the things they’re selling. It’s like buying a magazine full of ads with no articles.

No one wants to see that. It’s just spamming and it could get your profile deleted. You should try to keep a ration of 1:5 ads to real posts. Your sales will actually increase because your feed will be better quality, more engaging and you will get more followers. 

Obscene and illegal content

Twitter is super open-minded with content compared to most social networks which prefer a more family friendly level. But even Twitter has limits. 

Keep your sexual content vanilla. You can keep the hard and crazy stuff on sites that specialise in that. A good rule is to simply avoid anything with real or implied violence like rape and more extreme bdsm practices; and avoid bodily fluids like blood, spit, pee, poop and squirting. 

Avoiding illegal content shouldn’t really need explaining but if you break the law, then of course you should be deleted. That means posting nudes without permission, too many copyright violations, threats of violence, incitement of violence, doxing and many more crimes which are illegal online and offline. 

Just keep your feed legal and civil and it’s very unlikely you are going to have problems.

Tags and hashtags

Twitter is a great place to you to talk about all manner of topics but don’t crash people’s feeds by promoting sexual services or adult content with mainstream accounts and hashtags. 

OK you made a Super Mario porn parody but is it really appropriate to tag Nintendo with your nudes? 

Aim to be a respectful member of the community. It’s totally fine for sex-workers to engage with mainstream tags and accounts but don’t force your nudes or sexual services on them.

Hopefully now you have all the tools you need to keep your Instagram and Twitter accounts safe in future. Once you understand the rules they are quite easy to follow. 

Go review your profiles and tell me in the comments which rules you break. Feel free to contact me if you have questions on the topic. I will also try to keep this article updated if Twitter or Instagram change their community guidelines. 

Read more:

What to do when your Instagram gets deleted

Top 5 Twitter mistakes OnlyFans models make

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