#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).

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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…


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@Twitter: Keeping us safe from condoms, one tweet at a time (Part 2)

23- twitter campaign

Is your sexual health important to you? Us too!

Lucky Bloke, where I am founder and CEO, has been inundated for months with emails from
“Twitter for Business,” urging us to try out @TwitterAds and turn our followers into customers.

We submitted this sponsored tweet to @TwitterAds program. It was swiftly rejected:

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This is hardly explicit or x-rated. (Frankly, it’s not even r-rated.)
Furthermore, neither this tweet (nor our website) link to explicit “sexual content.” Nonetheless, not only was this tweet rejected, our entire account was deemed ineligible because Twitter doesn’t actually allow promotion of safer sex items or contraceptives – even including education around safer sex.

What is actually at work here is the perpetuation of stigma and shame around sex.
Our blacklisted tweet does acknowledge one thing: The essential role pleasure plays in improving consistent condom use. Studies show that if a condom doesn’t fit properly, men are less likely to use them. Lucky Bloke responds to this need by advising customers on their condom options and how to choose proper-fitting condoms.

Twitter’s ban on sexual health items and education is not acceptable.

We are committed to standing up for sexual health and demand that Twitter change it’s faulty policy.
Sign our petition to Twitter to change its advertising policy. Join us as we #Tweet4Condoms!
Twitter states that in 1.1 million people on Twitter in the U.S. alone are interested in health.
However, organizations and businesses dedicated to promoting safer sex education are denied Twitter’s huge audience.

In the fight against the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies, condoms are the first line of defense. If you restrict the distribution of condoms, you are restricting efforts to save lives

Join us and take a stand.

For public and global health. Because sexual care is health care!
Ready to be heard?

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

Other’s Are Speaking Out

Lucky Bloke isn’t alone. Other nationally renown businesses and organizations such as TheSTDProject and Bedsider (two of our Expert Contributors) are also speaking out against the challenges with Twitter that have blocked their sex education outreach.

We’re demanding change with our #tweet4condoms campaign.

In the last few days, Lucky Bloke’s hashtag #Tweet4Condoms has generated over 2500 tweets from very influential organizations like Planned Parenthood, Advocates for Youth and Bedsider!

We’ve had great coverage in ThinkProgress, RH Reality Check and you can read our CEO, Melissa’s op-ed here! We’ve had amazing people sharing via their blogs, and publications have even started their own petition (with more than 4,600 signatures) to help get Twitter to change their ad policy so that it supports the dissemination of crucial health information about sexual health and condoms.

The momentum sparked other organizations — Bedsider, Momdoms and The STD Project — to courageously come forward to speak about how Twitter has blocked their accounts or censored their sponsored tweets that contain “sexual content.” Read about it via RH Reality Check!

Larry Swiader, director of digital media at Bedsider, who has had inconsistent success advertising sexual health messages with Twitter has described the situation best:

“They’ve asked us not to talk about sex in a way that is overtly pleasurable, if you will,” …“It’s a funny request because sex is pleasurable, it should be, and it’s healthy when it is. So it puts people in a bind, especially somebody like Melissa [White, CEO of Lucky Bloke], whose business model is built around the idea that people disassociate pleasure from condoms, and that’s part of the reason people don’t use them.”

Let’s acknowledge condoms for what they are: a necessary, safe, socially acceptable way for people to protect their health — and let’s encourage Twitter to show the world that they are utterly unafraid to challenge anyone who attempts to stigmatize or marginalize condom use.

Become our ally. Sign our petition. Share our cause. Take a stand for sexual health.

SIGN OUR PETITION

All the ways you can 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
  • TWEETING: @twitter / @TwitterAds / @DickC (Twitter’s CEO)
    with the campaign hashtag: #Tweet4Condoms

Here are some tweets. Copy/paste your pick!

#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 . So, we’re starting a pro-condom revolution!

 #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 #petition http://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…

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All the condoms thank you! (And so do we!)