With increasingly conservative guidelines for photos on social media platforms and apps, the LGBT community is feeling a little less free online these days, according to Squirt.org. The gay hook-up site has launched the #CensorshipSucks campaign to raise awareness about this trend, stating that “our digital safe-space is being eroded and censorship seems to be the go-to option for governments and companies around the world. It feels like anything that’s a bit queer or a bit sexual is at the top of the hit-list.”
Users of dating and hook-up apps once had the option of wearing whatever they liked in profile photos — as long as there was no nudity — but app stores have placed a ban on any photos featuring the subject in underwear, jockstraps or “bikini-style” bathing suits. Though Squirt.org is not affected by this regulation as they don’t rely on app stores to connect with users, they view it as part of a trend that is hurting businesses like theirs, the clientele and the community at large.
They asked several gay porn stars to comment on this situation and on censorship in general:
“A society that is comfortable with every detail of violence being broadcast on every channel but not comfortable with the broadcasting of examples of the love, lust, compassion, caring, and sexual freedom the porn industry portrays, is a society that seriously needs to reconsider their viewing priorities.” — Jack Andy (@jackandyxxx)
“I think censorship limits creativity and self-expression. This concept of safety by hiding sexuality of nudity never really did anything to help human trafficking nor folks being raped or abused. Some of my friends think nudity is dangerous. We have to stop the bad connotation associated with the human body and what we do with it.” — River Wilson (@riverwilsonxxx)
“The whole point about the internet is the freedom to post or create media without censorship. A world with online censorship brings us back to the 1980s. Being a Model and Director in Gay Porn, I think it’s crazy since many men like to and do express themselves in a sexual and more natural manner. People shouldn’t be censored on what they want to express sexually. Even censoring nude photography is a big shame as that’s art, art of the male form. We are now in 2019, censoring things online is quite ridiculous and a step backwards as it’s nothing new and nothing to be ashamed of – people and companies have been doing this a long time.” — DICE (@DiceInPDXXX)
“When it comes to the increasing of online censorship, I feel as though that it is Prehistoric. We are living in a time and age where everything is more advanced. For me personally, I think it is a double-edged sword because there are many things in this world that aren’t censored. Take for instance, various paintings and statues. Those are considered national treasures; however, still showing full on nudity for all to see. The body is an art form, it shows the beauty and uniqueness in all of us. It is a sign of self-confidence. Others can say it’s too much or vulgar, but that just a closed-minded perception of how to think.” — Tigger Redd (@Tigger_ReddXXX)
See more about #CensorshipSucks here.