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2022: February

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No age verification option...

Twitter responds to German porn age verification requirements by totally blocking all Germans from adult content that has been flagged by a state internet censor


Link Here13th February 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Germany...Germany considers state internet filtering
Twitter has been blocking the profiles of adult content creators in Germany since late 2020, with at least 60 accounts affected to date.

The move comes in response to a series of legal orders by German regulators that have ruled that online pornography should not be visible to children and must be hidden behind age-verification systems.

As Twitter doesn't have an age-verification system in place, it has responded to legal demands by outright blocking the selected accounts for anyone in Germany.

The German approach to selecting accounts to ban seems scattergun. There are thousands of Twitter accounts that post adult content, and those the internet censors has reported to Twitter appear to have large followings or are subject to individual complaints.

Anyone trying to view one of the blocked accounts in Germany sees a message saying it has been withheld in Germany in response to a legal demand. The exact number of accounts blocked in this way is unknown. One pornographic account displaying this message has more than 700,000 followers.

The policy of totally blocking all German users may encourage a large scale take up of VPNs so that users can continue to view their favourite accounts. Of course Twitter could itself block access via well known VPNs but it seems likely that this would cause widespread disruption to worldwide users living in repressive countries that try to block Twitter entirely.

 

 

Australia's Online 'Safety' Bill endangers sex workers...

Sex workers' social media site Switter is forced to shut down in anticipation of new censorship laws


Link Here 13th February 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Australia...Wide ranging state internet censorship
A social media platform for sex workers with close to half a million users globally has shut down over legal concerns regarding online safety laws and the Australian government's social media defamation legislation.

Switter, which runs on Twitter-replica Mastodon, was set up by an Australian collective of sex workers and technologists, Assembly Four, in 2018 in response to the anti-sex trafficking legislation known as Sesta/Fosta in the United States.

Switter works as a safe space by, and for, sex workers, with little concern that their content or accounts will be censored. On the site, sex workers can find each other, share safety information, find clients and find out legal information or service availability.

However, the managers of the site have announced that they had decided to shut down immediately, telling its more than 420,000 users the raft of online safety and defamation laws in the US, UK and Australia made it difficult to keep the platform running. A letter from the management explains:

The recent anti-sex work and anti-LGBTQIA+ legislative changes not only in Australia, but in the UK, US and other jurisdictions have made it impossible for us to appropriately and ethically maintain compliance over 420,690+ users,.

Another concern leading to the shut down is the prospect of the Australian government's so-called social media anti-trolling legislation. The legislation, which will make platforms liable for defamation if they do not help to unmask an account making defamatory comments, would place a platform like Switter in the position of potentially having sex workers or their clients' anonymity removed in a time when they can still face discrimination from banks, housing and other institutions for the work.

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