Is an Internet Blacklist Database really necessary?
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that big tech companies like Twitter, Instagram, and Google share an Internet blacklist database. Known as the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), this database tags potential terrorist images with a unique digital signature. It’s a unique digital ID that once affixed to an image has it’s information distributed to its members resulting in the blacklisting of the image. Speculation has surmounted that this blacklisting is also happening to adult content. Despite research, it remains unclear if this is just banning of images or if it also entails a banning of the original uploaders. There are reports of shadow banning of the individual(s) which is a polite way of saying that no one will see their content but them, making it so they have no idea that they’ve been banned until someone contacts them about a reduced internet presence.
The trouble with this is two-fold, first as far as most fans are concerned, their only means of contact is usually through the very site that is shadow banning the content provider in the first place, so this means that any attempt to use the platform to contact their “star” may be intercepted, misdirected, deleted, or lost. Unfortunately, most professional performers have also come to rely on these content superstores because they take care of all the headaches of maintaining a vanity site, from payment processor to bandwidth throttling, while when they work and one is not banned, offering access to a huge pool of potential clients. But third party distribution does have its problems, as Only Fans showed early this year when it threatened to delete all its adult content providers due to payment processor concerns.
Why A database Black List?
On the surface an Internet Database Blacklist sounds like a good thing, no one wants terrorists. But when you consider that each of these platforms has hundreds of millions of users, it is easy to see how this power might be abused. In fact, Only Fans has now been accused by FanCentro of bribing employees of an unidentified social media company. Allegedly workers were paid to add Only Fans competitors to the Internet Blacklist Database. FanCentro filed legal action here in the United States against Only Fan’s owner, Leonid Radvinsky, and Fenix Internet LLC, which handles the site’s payments. They allege that dating back to 2018, the Internet Blacklist Database was intentionally manipulated and resulted in adult performers who used different platforms experiencing problems on social media, most notably with Instagram. So far the only comment that appears to have been given by Only Fans is that the case “has no merit.”
Social Media and its Impact
Social media has become the modern-day yellow pages or TV guide for driving traffic to both mainstream and explicit content. Many adult performers have experienced having their posts deleted, accounts cut, and possibly even been shadowbanned. On Twitter, pornstar and webcam performer, Alana Evans, has weighed in on the subject. So getting added to an Internet database blacklist by any of the social media platforms is something we should all fear, just as much as having one of them delete content, out-right censor or ban us.
Who has the Public’s Best Interests
It’s naive to believe that the tech giants have our best interest, or that they will operate fairly and ethically. When there’s the potential to increasingly larger sums of money, the people that control these companies will do whatever they think they can get away with. We have become way too reliant on third-party mega-corporations, who can literally direct our business by controlling the access that others have to our content. And with the platforms that distribute our content, we have the added worry of having our funds seized. Anyone that refuses to acknowledge the risks of these two realities shouldn’t be surprised when one day they too are targeted by some Internet Blacklist Database and they find themselves losing money.