Wednesday, February 28

Twitter Bans Porn Accounts in Germany

Twitter is gradually banning accounts with pornographic content. This is done at the request of German authorities who do not want minors to see inappropriate material. But the lack of age control also plays a role.

 

Erotic material on social media remains a tricky topic. At Meta (specifically Facebook and Instagram), it is not allowed. Nudity or pornography is allowed on Reddit or Twitter, but that is not appreciated everywhere.

Wired notes that at least 60 accounts have been closed to the German public since the end of 2020. The exact number is unknown. Anyone who wants to view the account from Germany will see that they have been blocked for legal reasons. It’s one of the rare occasions when a major tech platform addresses such questions.

This is partly due to requests from the German Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz, the committee for protecting youth against the media (loose translation). It sounds like people have no problems with freedom of expression, including erotic material. But without age control, those images can also be viewed by minors.

It sounds from the sector that the blocking is more likely to happen ad hoc after complaints and that there is no transparency about what is or is not possible. At the same time, Twitter has no age verification, so it is not possible to limit an account for minors. Something that, for example, YouTube does have for some explicit videos.

As a result, the debate around online pornography has recently shifted towards social media. In Great Britain, plans have been on the table for an age check on adult sites for several years now. It was first approved, then not applied, deleted, and a new attempt has been underway since last week. Here too, the focus is currently on pornographic websites, but there is a good chance that social media will also have to comply in the long term and apply such verification.

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