Twitter lifted its ban on condom retailer Lucky Bloke, the first company to speak out about the issue, after nine months of complaints and a public campaign to get the policy changed.
“For the many of you who championed our #Tweet4Condoms campaign, I want to thank you sincerely for lending your voice and support. It is exciting to see that, united, we can make a positive difference even when standing up to a tech giant,” writes Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke.
Lucky Bloke educates consumers about proper condom fit. Their central messages is that knowing one’s size and how to find what condoms fit best increases sexual pleasure and therefore increases consistent condom use.
However, Lucky Blokes’ frank discussion about sexual pleasure was deemed too racy for Twitter and their account was banned from advertising. Twitter’s old policy on “adult and sexual content” meant that any messages about condoms that mentioned pleasure would be outlawed.
But as we’ve stated before, how can you- more importantly, why should you- disconnect condoms from sex and pleasure. Lucky Bloke and other sexual health advocates felt that Twitter’s confusing ban on safer sex messaging marginalized condoms as “adult” content instead of an important public health issue. To stigmatize safer sex products in such a way is irresponsible and dangerous.
Hence, in the summer of 2014, Lucky Bloke launched the #Tweet4Condoms campaign, which sparked international attention about sexual health advocates held back by the policies of social media giants.
After intense pressure, Twitter re-categorized condoms, as well as personal lubes and contraceptives as “health and pharmaceutical products.” Twitter still prohibits any ads that link to “sexual content” and messages about condoms are still subject to review by Twitter. However, their new listing of condoms and contraceptives as a health product is step in the right direction.
Melissa White told RH Reality Check that she is “incredibly encouraged” by Twitter’s policy changes and Lucky Bloke’s account reinstatement. “To have them budge at all shows critical progress can be made. And for that we should celebrate a little,” White said. “We invite tech giants like Twitter, that have this incredible opportunity to join us and work together to end sexual health stigma and censorship for good.”
You can read more about the #Tweet4Condoms campaign here.