Stop Sexual Health Censorship! JOIN US… #ythlive

 

nij85Iwi0hhbolLyNYADtu_eijyVZoWsSgm5v39lfz8

 

Are you frustrated about how social media giants often censor crucial sexual health advocacy?
Do you have a story to tell about how you were censored?

In June 2014, Lucky Bloke launched the #Tweet4Condoms campaign to call on Twitter to stop their stigmatizing policies that prevent companies and nonprofits that promote sexual health from advertising, specifically around condom advertisements. And as people kept tweeting & media outlets reported on the censorship — we heard more & more stories about how tech giants are censoring crucial sexual health advocacy.

In January 2015, Twitter finally changed their policy and moved condoms & lube from the “adult or sexual products” category into the “health and pharmaceutical products and services policy.”

Together we did it. Together we showed Twitter that censorship hinders our ability to do crucial social justice advocacy. But the fight is far from over. We must continue to make sure that advocates — like you can me — can use the power of social media to uplift positive messages about sex and sexuality.

We will not accept censorship of crucial sexual health messages that saves lives.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Sign up for action alerts by clicking here.
  • Tweet at tech giants to say why this issue matters.
  • If you’re at YTH Live, join Milla Impola and Melissa White for a workshop about how to create social justice campaigns using strategic communications. It’s called “How to Leverage Media as a Powerful Tool for Social Justice Advocacy” on Monday at 3 p.m.

Learn more by reading media coverage of the #Tweet4Condoms:

  1. “Twitter Changes Sexual Health Ad Policy, Reinstates Condom Retailer’s Account,” RH Reality Check, March 10.
  2. “When Social-Media Companies Censor Sex Education,” The Atlantic, March 4.
  3. “Twitter Faces Renewed Criticism for Condom Ad Policies,” Rh Reality Check, August 22.
  4. “Is Twitter’s Condom Policy Too Tight?” Washingtonian, August 18.
  5. “The Much Maligned Condom: Why We Can’t Be Surprised Use Is Down Among Teens,” RH Reality Check, June 30.
  6. “Twitter Hates Condom Ads, Leading To #Tweet4Condoms Campaign,” Social News Daily, June 14.
  7. “Condom Companies: Twitter Is Censoring Us,” Mother Jones, June 13.
  8. “12 Ways You Know There’s A Huge (Magnum) Conspiracy Against Condoms,” BuzzFeed, June 12.
  9. “Speak Out Against Twitter’s Censorship of Sexual Health Info,” Be A Sex Educator, June 11.
  10. “Petition to Stop Twitter from Censoring Ads about Safer Sex,” The STD Project, June 5.
  11. “Controversy of the Day – #Tweet4Condoms,” Go Kicker, June 5.
  12. “Let’s Change Twitter’s Anti-Condom Stance #Tweet4Condoms,” Manpacks, June 4.
  13.  “More Companies Speak Out About Twitter Censoring Condom, Sexual Health Info in Ads,” RH Reality Check, June 5.
  14. “Does Twitter Have a Problem With Condoms?” Jezebel, June 4.
  15. “Twitter Banned My Company From Promoting Safe Condom Use,” RH Reality Check, June 4.
  16. “Twitter Is Being Pressured To Stop Censoring Ads About Condoms,” ThinkProgress, June 4.
  17. “Twitter Bans Company From Advertising Condoms, Citing ‘Adult or Sexual Products’ Policy (Updated),” RH Reality Check, June 4.

Together we can help end the censorship around crucial sexual health advocacy.

Join us! It’s simple.
Sign up here: http://safersex.education/contact/

 

905x160

 

Campaign Success! Twitter Changes Policy on Condoms

61- tweet 4 condomsAfter intense pressure from sexual health advocates, Twitter has finally modified their policy that blocked advertisements for condoms and sexual health.

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.

condom ad condoms too loose

#Tweet4Condoms Update: @Twitter is Not Protecting Users

61- tweet 4 condomsIn June we launched a petition demanding that @TwitterAds remove condoms from it’s blacklist.

The results? A force of support from thousands of people and numerous organizations who want to see sexual health messaging promoted, not shamed.

Currently, Twitter’s confusing policy continues to block a whole spectrum of sexual health advocates. Their policy views condoms as something to protect from it’s users, outlawing condom ads that contain or link to any mention of sexual pleasure.

But condoms are inherently sexual. How can you- more importantly, why should you- disconnect condoms from sex and pleasure? As we told RH Reality Check, promoting pleasure is more effective at increasing consistent condom use than any fear-based campaign.

Together we stand to put condoms in the public conversation as both a fundamental and pleasurable component to sexual health.

SIGN OUR PETITION
Other organizations and companies such as The STD Project, Bedsider and Momdoms have come forward sharing their struggles of censorship. Numerous sex educators continue to speak out against Twitter’s policy that has excluded them from the platform including Elle Chase, JoEllen Notte, Megan Andelloux and The Center For Sexual Pleasure & Health, and many others.

Twitter’s irresponsible approach to sexual health is riddled with hypocrisy. Health organizations are stalled by confusing automated messages stating they violate Twitter’s restrictions on “adult content”. Meanwhile, suggestive images of sexy clad women can show up in one’s Twitter feed.

Here are the #Tweet4Condoms campaign most recent developments:

This month a 7-year old government funded condom distribution program, Rubber Revolution DC, was blocked from promoting their campaign to fight HIV/AIDS. @FreeCondomsDC received an automated message informing them that their tweet violated Twitter’s policy on “adult or sexual products and services.”

The good news is that DC’s Department of Health was able to get the ban lifted for their campaign. In response to media coverage of the ban, Twitter spokeswoman Genevieve Wong stated: “We allow advertisers to run campaigns that promote condoms and safe sex.”

Great news! We thought.

And we checked to see if the ban lifting applied to us as well. No luck.

Since the launch of #Tweet4Condoms, we’ve reached out to Twitter numerous times with absolutely no response from them, we figured Genevieve Wong might have some answers for us too.

So, we promptly contacted Wong.

Unfortunately, we were greeted with a copy and paste message of Twitter’s automated reply reading:

Thanks for checking in. I connected with our Ads Policy team about the status of your account, and wanted to pass along their response:

Thanks for your question about the status of your Twitter Ads account. We’ve reviewed your account and confirmed that it is ineligible to participate in the Twitter Ads program at this time based on our Adult or sexual products and services policy at this time. Violating content includes, but is not limited to, nudity, partial nudity, sexual aids and toys, as well as adult/sexual language. If the violating content has been removed, please respond and we will re-review your account for policy compliance.

You can learn more about this policy at twitter.com/adspolicy/adult.

For those following along, you may remember our entire account has been deemed ineligible and has been blocked from TwitterAds entirely.

The tweet we submitted that put us on the blacklist did not contain or link to any sexual language or erotic images.

In fact, we do not talk about condoms and/or sex in a more sexual or explicit way than DurexUSA.com (who do advertise on Twitter).

meme_idea

Durex’s home page vs. Lucky Bloke’s homepage.

While it is positive that Durex and RubberRevolution are now able to use Twitter’s outreach- the platform continues to be unequal. Most companies and organizations are banned by default. Consequently, important voices in the field of sexual health are excluded from one of the world’s most powerful communication channels.

We are committed to standing up for sexual health and demand that Twitter change it’s faulty policy.

Sign our petition to change Twitter advertising policy. Join us as we #Tweet4Condoms! For public and global health.

Because sexual care is health care!

SIGN OUR PETITION

(Please note, you can sign the petition without displaying your name. Your privacy is important to us too!)

All the ways to support the cause and share the campaign

  • SIGNING: our petition asking Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo to remove stigmatizing and harmful restrictions on condom advertising. http://bit.ly/LBpetition
  • SHARING: the campaign’s media coverage!
    • ThinkProgress: Twitter Is Being Pressured To Stop Censoring Ads About Condoms
    • RH Reality Check (Our op-ed): Twitter Banned My Company From Promoting Safe Condom Use
    • RH Reality Check: Twitter Bans Company From Advertising Condoms, Citing ‘Adult or Sexual Products’ Policy

Here are some tweets. Copy/paste your pick!

@Twitter condom policy is hypocritical & ineffective at “protecting” users http://bit.ly/LBpetition #Tweet4condoms

#Tweet4Condoms because sexual care is health care: http://bit.ly/LBpetition #Tweet4condoms

A #condom a day keeps the doctor away!  http://bit.ly/LBpetition #Tweet4Condoms

Condoms are a global health necessity. I stand w/ @theluckybloke to change @Twitter‘s ad policies http://bit.ly/Tweet4Condoms #Tweet4Condoms

You can start a revolution for your country on @twitter, but no ads for #condoms. So, we’re starting a pro-condom revolution! #Tweet4Condoms

#Tweet4Condoms because if you restrict the distribution of condoms, you are restricting efforts to save lives http://bit.ly/LBpetition

Put an end to @TwitterAds restrictions that impede condom access. Sign #petitionhttp://bit.ly/LBpetition #Tweet4Condoms

Link to our petition: http://bit.ly/LBpetition  OR share our other images below!

on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram…actually, anywhere you’d like…


new_slider

 

 

 

 

condom_bird_LB_logo

 

dick_tweet