Shadowbans: Secret Policies Depriving Sex Workers of Income and Community

Written collaboratively by Juniper Fitzgerald and Jessie Sage


Several months ago, we attended the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, which included the Adult Video Network (AVN awards). The problematic aspects of such conventions notwithstanding—for example, a panel of “industry leaders” at the Expo admitted to never hearing of FOSTA—it is an event many sex workers count on for networking. This year, one thing stood out at the various parties and meetups: none of the people in attendance, from well-known porn stars to newly minted cam girls, could find each other on social media platforms. So we—your very much alive and visible authors—decided to search for one another. Sure enough, even typing our exact handles into Twitter’s search bar yielded “no results.”

TERF writer loses lawsuit against Twitter, will remain banned

Writer claims she ‘won’t be silenced’

TERF writer loses lawsuit against Twitter, will remain banned
Canadian writer Meghan Murphy | Photo: Eyoälha Baker/Wikimedia

Canadian writer Meghan Murphy has a lost a lawsuit against Twitter and will remain banned.

The blogger was permanently banned over transphobic tweets.

Murphy’s writing focuses on gender and politics. Her feminist opinions are rooted in the ideals of TERFs, or trans-exclusionary radical feminists.

In her lawsuit, Murphy alleged Twitter breached their contract. She also claims Twitter violated her free speech, thereby unjustly banning her.

TERF writer loses lawsuit against Twitter

A San Francisco court ruled Twitter is protected by the Communications Decency Act.

Lawyers cited section 230 of the act.

That section provides immunity for social networking sites who host information that could make them liable. The clause also states no social networking site can be treated as the publisher or speaker of that tweet.

Design student creates new product which aims to transform the lives of transgender people 

A Loughborough University student has created a potentially life-changing product for the transgender community as part of his final-year project for the Design Degree Show.

Image of the back of Breathe, showing the battery on the garment
Miles Kilburn, who studies Industrial Design and Technology, has produced a chest binder for transgender men and non-binary people that is both safer and smarter than existing products.

Chest binding is the act of flattening one’s breasts using a tight garment to make the chest appear more masculine.

This can have immense mental health benefits for the user; however, some chest binding methods can have serious physical health implications.

This is particularly the case for DIY binding – where the user has created a binder themselves due to not having access to commercial binders, which have been regulated and provide an even compression.

Examples of homemade methods include using household objects such as duct tape, plastic wrap, bandages, or sewing their own garment.

The physical impacts of this – particularly if worn over long periods of time – include back and chest pain and even rib fractures.

Over-binding is also a risk; users may wear a chest binder that is too small or wear one for too long due to the difficulties to discreetly remove it during the day.

This is where Miles’ product, Breathe, provides a safer option for the community.

The chest binder he has created is a garment made with smart materials woven through the fabric that enables the user to take breaks throughout the day without removing their clothing and needing to go to a private space.

Two photos of Breathe being worn, showing before and after compression

The binder includes a smart alloy called Nitonel, which when electrified, decompresses the garment and loosens the binder.

It is battery-operated and controlled using a small remote, allowing the user to take discreet breaks as and when they choose.

The binder is machine washable, has flat seaming and includes mesh panels to make the product breathable and keep the user cool.