Think Conservatives Are Censored on Social Media? Try Being a Porn Star. 1

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced this week that he would fine social media companies that ban political candidates. Every outlet from Fox News to MSNBC fired off missives about the bill. What got lost in the news coverage is that Silicon Valley deplatforms very few politicians, save shock-jocks like Donald Trump and Laura Loomer (if you want to call her a politician). The same cannot be said for sex workers.

This month, Centro University released a study estimating that 46 percent of adult influencers reported losing access to Twitter or Instagram in the last year. The bans put a permanent dent in the stars’ income, with Centro estimating sex workers lose $260 million a year due to social media bans. You won’t hear DeSantis, Fox News, Glenn Greenwald, or any other so-called free speech warriors decrying porn stars’ lost incomes, so let me break down how social media companies are screwing over porn stars (and not screwing them in a good way!).

Silicon Valley titans have revoked my social media access multiple times. Take my recent Snapchat ban. The Santa Monica-based app barred me from posting on my public account, so I lost the means to communicate with fans who would message me on Snap. I lost 50 percent of my revenue until I built back my following.

Other adult performers have faced far worse. The Centro report shows that 39.7 percent of adult influencers report temporarily losing Instagram accounts, 15.3 percent say they have been briefly removed from Twitter, and 8.7 percent claim to have been suspended from both. Many performers regain access to their accounts, but not everyone. Approximately 10.5 percent of performers report being barred from Instagram, and 7.9 percent say they are banished from Twitter, while 1.3 percent report being deplatformed from both.

Centro analyzed the monetary impact of these bans and found that an influencer earning $4,000 a month could see their income drop 30 percent to $2,600 a month. Six months later, they would gain only $1,000 a month without social media. They could lose $30,000 a year.

I understand why losing social media impacts bank accounts. For sex workers, social media is our central advertising platform. Kicking us off socials is like banning a movie studio from taking out billboard, print, and television ads. We lose our ability to sell our content. Companies hire me because they know that fans will click the link and press buy when I link out to my videos. In contracts, they include clauses requiring performers to post about their content on social media. I am a porn star because millions of people follow me, and I can market directly to them. Without my followers, I’m just another girl taking it all off on camera.

For sex workers, social media is our central advertising platform. Kicking us off socials is like banning a movie studio from taking out billboard, print, and television ads.

Today’s porn market has undergone a massive paradigm shift from the ’70s porn industry, when suggestive posters turned Linda Boreman into Linda Lovelace, or the ’90s when VHS covers in adult video stores transformed Jenna Jameson into a household name. Today’s stars market porn studios’ content, not the other way around. Of course, when I appear in a significant companies’ porno, I boost my following, increasing my star stature and ensuring more studios hire me in the future. Most importantly, I come onto the radar of men or women watching streamers’ porn, and they then consider subscribing to my OnlyFans.

Without social media, none of this would happen because I would lose the ability to market products. My product is myself. Without advertising myself on social media, I have no way to gain enough eyes for my products, and without a decent follower count, I’m less “valuable” to companies that might want to book me. And without a huge pool of people seeing my advertising every day, I have zero chance of selling my OnlyFans subscriptions. It’s a vicious cycle, and when a social media platform kicks me off, I fall off the merry-go-round.

I have no idea how a performer could break into porn today without social media accounts. But it’s hard to get social media companies to care about sex workers the same way DeSantis has sounded the alarm on the consequences of deplatforming a controversial politician. Part of the problem is that sex workers operate on the periphery of mainstream society. I know a girl who rappers have offered to fuck in exchange for writing a song about her, but mainstream magazines have yet to profile her. Everyone watches porn, but porn stars hover on fringes. Nobody cares about us.

Right now, I doubt Silicon Valley will reconsider its sex-worker policies. The media and public rarely cry out about porn stars losing their rights to post, so why would they? For now, I’ll be adding “former presidential candidate” to my Twitter bio. We’ll see if DeSantis and his ilk care the next time a social media giant deplatforms me, or if they only care when wacko politicians lose Twitter access for tweeting something crazy.