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Will Twitter become the new hotbed for online porn?

Unbeknownst to the millions of Twitter users, in the gallows of the network is a growing number of porn peddlers showing off all that their mama gave them. Picture by Ravi Sharma/UnSplash

Unbeknownst to the millions of Twitter users, in the gallows of the network is a growing number of porn peddlers showing off all that their mama gave them. Picture by Ravi Sharma/UnSplash

Published May 19, 2022

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Amid Elon Musk's 'purchase/non-purchase' of the social network Twitter, one of the changes he touted after the magnate's 'take-over' was to foster free speech for the platform. Now people are asking: will this mean more porn?

Unlike many other social networks, which are bound by strict moderation preventing the distribution of pornography, unbeknownst to many, Twitter is a cesspool of explicit adult content.

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IOL Business recently reported that Twitter had become a digital hive riddled with bots, porn, and questionable algorithms - just some of the issues Musk may have to tackle if he eventually takes the helm of the social network.

Among recent tweets in which Musk suggested future changes to the platform, tweaks to the algorithm remain at the top of the Telsa founder's list. This is on the tail-end of his strong criticism over the 'unfair' algorithm in recent years.

With explicit content already rife on the platform, the question is, would amendments to the algorithm favour a safer, more family-oriented social network, or could it bolster the distribution of porn.

Explicit User Generated Content on Twitter

The microblogging platform has been used to distribute and share pornography over the years. In this, Twitter has also become a primary marketing tool for amateur porn stars from South Africa and around the world.

Local and international adult performers use Twitter to advertise and drive traffic to their profiles or accounts on explicit digital platforms like subscription-based amateur porn site - OnlyFans.

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Despite explicit content being freely available on the platform and acting as a revenue generator for adult performers who have found methods to monetise it - Some accounts posting content intended for an adult audience have been banned.

Among the suggested changes by Musk was the unbanning of previously banned accounts. While specifically referring to high-profile accounts like that of former US President Donald Trump, the unbanning of accounts may include accounts banned for explicit material.

Meanwhile, the easing of the platform's moderation through a more relaxed algorithm could result in the availability of more porn, which is already easily accessible by removing sensitivity filters from searches for adult-related keywords.

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Impact of Less Moderation

More freely accessible adult material, especially on a popular social network, has sparked concern, as it could offer a veil of innocence in accessing porn from a platform not specifically designed for this intention.

Taku Mhonyera, admissions manager at the Crossroads Recovery Centre, which facilitates recovery from porn addiction, among other treatments, told IOL Business that the accessibility of porn on a social network and the anonymity that comes with it offer porn viewers more avenues to access content and in many cases could ultimately lead to addiction.

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"The question here is around your intention and impact of using the platform. By browsing porn on Twitter, it's easy to say that you're just making use of a social network. However, the ease of access makes people more susceptible to viewing porn on a social network, making it easier to fall into," Mhonyera warned.

* If you or someone you love has porn addiction, please seek help. There are numerous recovery centres throughout South Africa, waiting to help you. Including Crossroads Recovery Centre and Relapse Prevention.

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