However, another service kicked the sex workers off its platform. according to MotherboardLinktree, a tool that allows you to share multiple links with a single URL online, has given sex workers the boot overnight and without warning. Banned users have taken to social networks like Twitter to announce that their account has been banned for “inappropriate use” and they haven’t even received an email or any kind of notification about it. Some were reportedly billed for the service, which costs $9 per month for the professional tier, but were not refunded when their account was cancelled.
Marilyn Bonelli, Head of Trust and Security at Linktree, told the publication that accounts that have been blocked sharing a URL are in violation of their Community Standards. The text of Bonley’s statement reads:
“In accordance with our company policies, blocked Linktree accounts originated from sharing a URL that violates Community Standards by sharing ads to sell real-life sexual services.”
Sex workers benefit from tools like Linktree, as some platforms don’t allow linking to adult sites like OnlyFans directly. Perhaps most importantly, they have to diversify the use of many websites, because they will never know when the service will suddenly decide to block adult content.
It has long been known that financial services such as PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard close the accounts of people who have sex. Patreon banned content of a sexual nature in 2017, and the number of services that decided not to host sex workers and their content has only grown since the US government approved FOSTA-SESTA a few years ago. Even OnlyFans, which has become synonymous with adult content, attempted to ban “explicit sexual behaviour” in 2021 until it put on hold a planned policy change.
Linktree’s terms of service state that a user must not “embed any sexually explicit material (including images and language) on your page or account.” However, it is vague and not entirely clear if linking to sites like OnlyFans has always been against its rules. It’s also unclear why Linktree suddenly started banning sex workers when they’ve been using the service without a problem for some time, but people in the sex industry may want to find another link-sharing tool they can use.
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