"Fuck Zucc. We Will Not Be Silent": Sex Workers' Fight For Visibility and Against Censorship on Instagram

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Nash, Chelsea Anne




As governments begin to mandate corporations to regulate online spaces through legislation like the US government's FOSTA (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act), information networks integral to the safety and success of sex workers are being threatened. On Instagram, sex worker activists are being subjected to targeted censorship because of their public sex worker identity. Through a 30 day ethnographic content analysis, this project sought to understand the tactics and strategies that sex workers are engaging in to resist and respond to Instagram's censorship, while attempting to carve out space for themselves on a platform that has a known history of policing deviant female bodies through censorship. I argue that sex workers take up visibility labour and draw on historical patterns of sex worker activism, such as a politics of care and collectivity, to respond to and interrupt Instagram's one-sided and top-down censorship.


Mass Communications
Gender Studies




Carleton University

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