Monday, July 15, 2024

Ex-Twitter X goes XXX with relaxation of adult content rules

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Adult content is now explicitly permitted on X. The platform formerly known as Twitter has updated its rules and policies to permit users to post “consensually produced and distributed material depicting adult nudity or sexual behavior that is pornographic or intended to cause sexual arousal”. AI-generated content is also covered by the policy.

Users are free to post content such as “full or partial nudity, including close-ups of genitals, buttocks, or breast” as well as depictions of sexual acts. The only proviso (aside from material having been consensually produced and distributed) is that any posts containing such material needs to be labelled with a warning. There are a handful of exceptions, however.

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In an update to its Adult Content policies, X acknowledges that “sexual expression, whether visual or written, can be a legitimate form of artistic expression”. Elon Musk is a vocal proponent of freedom of speech, and this is reflected in the policy update. But the company points out that “we balance this freedom by restricting exposure to Adult Content for children or adult users who choose not to see it”.

This balance and choice is achieved through not only forcing users to label such content, but also by continuing to ban the displaying of adult content in profile pictures and banners.

The policy document currently details the following types of content that are permissible with a warning label:

  • visible genitals or anus exposed or focused on or when prominently featured
  • visible female nipples
  • fully nude butts
  • explicit sexual activity including vaginal, oral or anal sex, usage of sex toys or any form of sexual penetration
  • implied sexual activity including clothed sexual simulation, states of sexual arousal such as erection or sexual activity that is pixelated, blurred, or strategically covered
  • bodily fluids used in sexual context

There are numerous exceptions to the rules, and it likely that these will be bent to breaking point by users trying to skirt restrictions:

  • educational content such as breast cancer awareness
  • medical content such as post-surgery media of breast augmentation or mastectomy
  • partial or digitally obscured nudity such as modeling or beach photos
  • activist campaigns carried out with nudity
  • artistic nudity or sexual behavior, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, or statues
  • parody or satire to convey a political idea, or lobby criticism, such as caricatures or cartoons
  • humor about certain phenomena or theme with no intent to cause sexual arousal such as memes

There remains a good deal of content which is simply not permitted on X, such as non-consensual nudity. Full details are available here.

Image credit: ectorstockvadim / depositphotos

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