Twitter tightened its media policy guidelines last week to toughen up on revenge porn and hate speech, and Buzzfeed caused a bit of a panic by misinterpreting the guidelines as a “sweeping ban on porn”. Advertising has always had fairly strict guidelines on Twitter (because no-one wants their mother to be getting dildo ads in her feed). but Motherboard clarifies that for individuals it’s still ok to have naughty tweets, as long as pictures are marked “sensitive media”.
Weirdly, at the same time as this policy update, #bisexual began to show no results on Twitter for news or photos. Twitter responded that it was an error with search results for certain terms and they would be resolving it as soon as possible.
The Guardian reports that major US internet firms have said that they will support legislation to make it easier to penalise operators of websites that facilitate online sex trafficking. In the past, the Internet Association, which represents giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter have aggressively fought the sex trafficking bill, citing concerns over freedom of speech.
At first blush, this seems like great news. Of course nobody is in favour of sex trafficking.
Actually, it’s very possibly not great news at all. The problem has always been that law-makers are not very good at distinguishing consensual and non-consensual sex work, and actually there is a lot of evidence that there is a long history of deliberately obfuscating regular sex work with sex trafficking. Sex trafficking gets defined in the widest possible terms by law-makers, and then a lot of morality judgements come into play as the whole sex industry gets squeezed. Tech firms, of course, don’t want any sex-related controversy, and so the pressure will be to remove any and all sex-work related content. It only takes one case for them to be liable, so erring on the side of caution means it’s better to shut down any site that might be “risky”. As you’d expect, the Sex Workers Outreach Project is against it as is the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
People who get high really do have more sexy time, and the more marijuana you smoke the higher the libido, according to a new study from Stanford University. Neuroscientist Hermes Solenzol recommends that in BDSM it should be used only by the submissive, not by the Top, and that you get all of your consent negotiations out of the way before you puff.
In the age of Tinder (or what Vanity Fair once called the “dawn of the dating apocalypse“), the language of dating is getting more complex every week. Here’s a roundup of a few of the terms you’re likely to come across in magazines at the moment:
- Roaching — When a new partner hides the fact that they’re dating around. And when they’re confronted about it, they respond that there was no implication of monogamy to begin with.
- Stashing — You’re seeing someone, but you’re not introduced to any of their family or friends, and you don’t appear on their Facebook or Instagram feeds. They’re keeping you out of sight or “stashed away”.
- Ghosting — When the other person just up and disappears.
- Breadcrumbing — It’s a little like the online equivalent of leading you on. Just follow the breadcrumbs. The other person is sending flirtatious, but non-comittal messages, to keep you on the hook.
- Tindstagramming — The act of sneaking into someone’s Instagram DMs after failing to match with them on Tinder.
- Zombieing — When your connection goes dead for weeks, perhaps months, and then your phone buzzes and there he is again saying “hey, how’s it going?”
- Firedooring — Got a guy who won’t ever text you back, but who you’ll drop everything for and head over to his flat if he calls? Or a girl who never replies when you tag her in memes, but summons you for sex as soon as a relationship ends? Basically, if you have any kind of relationship with someone where all of the access comes from one side, and any attempt for you to make it a two-way street is shot down, it’s firedooring.
- Cuffing — This is the trend for singles to urgently look for a relationship to get them through the winter months. In the US, “Cuffing Season” starts on November 1 and continues through to Valentine’s Day. (Don’t confuse this one with Cupping, or your date may turn out a lot different to the way you were hoping).
- Cushioning — When people in monogamous relationships stay in casual contact with people they may want to date in the future.
- Thirst Traps — A photo that’s meant to showcase your physical assets, but “accidentally”. Oops, does this photo of my pouty face show off my cleavage too?
Feature Image: Justin Bishop for Vanity Fair: Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse”