April Lampert and Amy Baldwin, creators and hosts of female-forward sex-ed podcastShameless Sex, have found themselves in the crosshairs of a censorship conflict with Instagram that appears to specifically target women.
“Shameless Sex, along with many other woman-run sex education/activism accounts have officially been ‘shadow-banned’”, says Baldwin, “while it seems many male-run exploitive/pornographic accounts continue to run freely.”
The popular podcast, which covers various sex-related topics in a humorous, informative and non-exploitative manner – and many female-led educational outlets like it – have been unfairly singled out and censored, believes Baldwin.
“It feels like women’s voices are being silenced for talking or teaching about sexuality, while male-owned accounts are still allowed to objectify women and/or promote sex-negativity.”
Colleagues of Baldwin and Lampert have also had similar issues with YouTube and Twitter, while other high-profile platforms such as Google, Apple and Reddit have also hit users with ‘violation of community guidelines’ notices.
Last year’s passing of the FOSTA-SESTA ‘sex-trafficking’ law – where websites are now legally accountable for their users’ potentially-problematic content – is creating an over-censoring issue for users… mostly female ones.
As a result, many online sexuality educators and bloggers are rallying to take a stand and get the word out about ‘shadow-banning’ content, which affects traffic count, user engagement and hashtag searches.
“The guidelines don’t quite add up considering what is still allowed on these platforms,” says Baldwin. “We feel targeted for pushing the envelope of women’s sexual empowerment. We’ve had many listeners write in to Instagram on our behalf stating that they want us back, as we have had a strong influence on their personal growth and well-being.”
To support and help Shameless Sex fight online content censorship, visit ShamelessSex.com
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