Instagram is hiding content hosted by the pole dancing community's most commonly used hashtags.
Pole dancers, performers and entrepreneurs say that the censorship is threatening their livelihood. Sweden-based instructor and performer, Anna-Maija Nyman, told Yahoo Lifestyle.:
The censorship is affecting our whole community because it makes it harder to share and connect, I felt that our community is in danger and under attack.
The controversy for pole dancers began on July 19, when hashtags such as #poledancing, #poledancer and #polesportorg were noticeably wiped off all content previously aggregated by pole dancers around the world.
To alert fellow dancers, California-based pole star, Elizabeth Blanchard, wrote in a post that day that the banning of 19 hashtags appeared to be an effort to shadowban the community. She wrote:
There seems to have been a massive 'cleanse' on instagram and pole dancers have been deemed dirty and inappropriate...or as Instagram puts it we don't 'meet Instagram's community guidelines. There has been lots of talk about shadowbans lately
but this purge of hashtags is hard to mistake as being targeted towards pole dancers.
Shadowbanning is a method used by social networks to quietly silence an account by curtailing how it gets engagement without blocking the ability to post new content. Shadowbanned users are not told that they have been affected, they can continue
to post messages, add new followers and comment on or reply to other posts. But their [content] doesn't appear in the feeds, their replies may be suppressed and they may not show up in searches.
Australia-based instructor, performer and business owner Michelle Shimmy points out that the current restrictions facing pole dancers on the social media platform are part of a much larger issue having to do with Instagram's policy changes to
manage 'problematic' content, which she suggests are inherently sexist.
Apparently Instagram has apologised for its censorship but nobody is expecting a change i th eplicy.
Hamburg's famous nightlife scene got a new attraction with the opening of Germany's first bar dedicated to porn karaoke.
The Porno Karaoke Bar was opened by German drag queen Olivia Jones in the city's St. Pauli district.
Visitors are invited to go on stage and moan along to clips from porn films from the 1970s and 1980s as they soundlessly play on screens in the background. Currently, visitors can choose from nearly 30 retro clips.
Olivia Jones commented:
It's funnier than I thought it would be. At the beginning, people are reserved and don't dare to try it out, but meanwhile we've noted that we can hardly save ourselves from the guests who are galloping onto the stage.
German sex shops are inviting customers to try out virtual reality porn inside new VR booths.
The booths cost just under £1 per minute to use and are available in 14 cities across Germany.
They are built by German firm Virtual Real Pleasure and each booth -is about the size of a small bathroom. Booths cots the shop £8,000 to install.
Inside is a high-end virtual reality (VR) headset and an easy-clean leather chair to sit on. Customers pick a VR smut flick, which then plays on a TV on the opposite side of the booth. The booth is big enough to incorporate two people at once.
As unlikely as it sounds, Thailand, known worldwide for its prosperous sex industry and its tolerant attitude towards sex -- is one of the last remaining countries in the world where sex toys are illegal, along with Saudi Arabia and India.
Now feminist, pro-LGBT and sexual health campaigner Nisarat Jongwisan has taken up the challenge to get the sex toy ban reversed.
Nisarat decided on this coure of action during a visit to Australia when she walked into a sex shop for the first time. She recalled thinking:
A Land of Toys opened up in front of her eyes. Why can't I have the same privilege of buying whatever makes me feel good?
She came back to Bangkok carrying her first personal vibrator -- along with a new desire, to start a fight to decriminalise sex toys for the happiness and safety of my people. And, along with that, to encourage sex-positivity in Thailand where
words such as orgasm and climax are banned from public speech.
The first knockback came from her friends and even her boyfriend: They thought what I was doing was wrong. They didn't want to know or talk about my new, happy sex life. It makes you look like a bad person. But Nisarat carried on and launched a
petition to ask the amendment of the 287 Section removing sex toys from pornographic items.
The Beverley sex cinema has held out for decades as Paris's sole pornographic movie theatre, proudly yet discreetly offering non-stop showings of films from the 1970s and 80s.
But rising rents and changing social mores have finally caught up and the cinema's fans have just a few days left to pick up memorabilia from a symbol of a bygone Paris. After the final screening last Saturday -- the traditional couples night --
owner Maurice Laroche is remaining on site this week to sell films, posters, seats and whatever else is left.
Laroche, who had managed the Beverley since 1983 before buying it 10 years later, said that at 75 he was ready to retire to the ocean resort town of Royan in southwest France. His clients have become fewer as they've gotten older in recent years
-- most recently he had been selling less than 500 12-euro tickets a week, compared with 1,500 twenty years ago.
In its heyday, around 1975, there were over 900 cinemas specialising in pornography in France. Just six years later, there were only 90, French film journalist Jacques Zimmer told AFP. According to France's national cinema council only one
X-rated cinema now remains in France, the Vox in Grenoble.
Thousands of convenience stores in Japan will stop selling pornographic magazines. Both Lawson Inc. and 7-Eleven Japan Co. announced earlier this week that the retail companies plan to stop selling pornography in their stores, which combined
included nearly 34,000 locations in Japan.
The 7-Eleven stores will phase out the explicit material by August. The transition will take place ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
A spokesperson for 7-Eleven Japan Co. told Reuters that the stores, previously patronized mostly by men, have developed in recent years to become more family oriented.