Free speech and censorship are hot topics, even hotter than usual these days.
As “pornographers” — a group of people both vaguely defined and often discriminated against — how should we feel about censorship?
We spoke to performer, entrepreneur and fitness champion Ashley Sinclair about this important topic.
YNOT Cam: Why do you think members of the sex work community should *not* be excited about the recent deplatforming of President Trump?
Ashley Sinclair: Well, the entire reason adult content creators have the ability to create the content we do is because of the protections free speech offer us. Porn stars and production companies [overcame] many hurdles and court cases that have paved our way to this point before the digital age.
To begin censoring free speech and expression will only take us backward. Many of these girls I see on Twitter applauding Trump and others being kicked off of Twitter for their ideas aren’t old enough or just weren’t taught about how porn is even allowed to exist or be filmed. It hasn’t always been this easy.
By the way, Twitter could just as easily determine they are a threat to some political stance or could respond to advertiser blow back or general public outrage, and they will lose the biggest marketing tool for their content that has ever existed in history. They’re just not using their heads about this. The same girls who make upset posts about their Instagram being deleted for showing too much of their ass are the same ones championing someone else’s speech and expression being violated.
Why do you think people cheer censorship in some instances and get upset about it in others?
I think they do it because they don’t have very much real-world experience, and their only concept of the political climate comes from already biased media. Many of them are young and haven’t yet begun thinking beyond the move that is right in front of them.
If experience has taught me anything, it is that to remain relevant in this — or any — industry you have to think ten steps ahead. I don’t know who anyone can be thinking ahead and think messing with free speech is a good idea. The truth is, Twitter for example could deny nudity tomorrow. Before you can go delete all of your photos, they could suspend your account and deny you one in the future. Then what are you going to do?
Some speech is established as “legally censored,” like sexualized content without consent. Other speech seems to be “socially censored” by feelings or perceived norms. What might be the consequences of relying on social versus legal censorship?
I believe in law and order all the way. I also believe that consequences, however, happen to people regardless of the law. Trump is already feeling the impact of what the media has spun into a “call to siege the capitol” by taking his words out of context and failing to take into account everything he said, such as “protest in peace” and so on.
I’ve watched multiple videos of Democrat officials calling to get in the faces of cabinet members to “taking to the street.” The bias is those aren’t mentioned in this conversation. That is why no one should take it seriously. By rooting for it because you don’t like the man, you are setting a precedent for your own undoing. Mark my words.
Free speech is important to protect, generally and often especially the speech that we don’t personally like. How would you suggest a person who hotly disagrees with President Trump approach this situation?
I personally do not condone the violence that we saw on January 6. I can not condone violence and agree with policy. Others can simply condone violence and disagree with policy. Back up your conversations with facts and respect others when they challenge you for what evidence you give for whatever political position you take.
You don’t unite people by silencing them. You give them less choices to express themselves when that happens. If you wouldn’t like it done to you, don’t do it to others.
Imagine being so scared of what someone might say, that you spend 5 BILLION dollars in market share to delete them.
If that doesn't make you ask questions, you literally don't get reality. pic.twitter.com/eWCDiEN5bd
— Ashley Sinclair (@Ashley4Kxxx) January 11, 2021
Erika is a sex positive people watcher (and writer). Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.