Yes, propaganda. Recently there have been several smear pieces directed towards minor attracted people. Before I get to setting the record straight, let me share what Twitter’s child sexual exploitation policy is (emphasis mine):
Twitter began taking this position privately around January, 2018 when a number of experts who now compose Prostasia Foundation wrote a letter to Twitter warning them of the dangers of censoring minor attracted people from their platform. Despite this, there have been several bad-faith attempts and entire social media troll movements designed to harass and even call for the registering and genocide of minor attracted people. These hate-fueled movements are explicitly against Twitter’s terms of service, yet days afterwards, tweets targeting people with harassment and dehumanization remain up after multiple reports. Many of the minor attracted people on Twitter are in the age range of 13-25 years old.
Let me correct the record on several vitally important points:
- Nobody chooses who they are sexually attracted to, and nobody would desire to be sexually attracted to children. We do not choose this and we cannot change it. Chemical/physical castration does not eliminate these attractions either.
- Minor attracted people are often severely affected by the effects of the stigma directed towards them, and most report not ever having harmed a child in studies (87.8% according to one study with a sample size of 1,189). Most of us are non-offending, so describing us and ourselves as non-offending may inadvertently give the impression that we harm children. This perception is not true.
- Yes, we do promote the reduction/elimination of stigma towards minor attraction. Stigma interferes with us getting social and professional help and isolates us from the information we need to understand our attractions.
- Most minor attracted people have zero desire to be involved in LGBTQ+ issues, even if people are trans, bisexual, etc. Why? Attraction is not behavior, and the wider public has trouble with this concept. We do not feel it is appropriate to confuse the two ideas further.
- Pro-contact does not mean rapist nor the promotion of rape. It means people who believe there is complexity to whether or not and at what age people can consent and take a position regarding that complexity. Anti-contact means a variety of things, but generally means we do not believe the aforementioned complexity changes the fact that it would be wrong for us to be sexual with children. These are moral beliefs, not behaviors. There is nuance to them. Some of those views do violate Twitter’s policies if expressed, but most do not.
Despite these facts, Twitter has recently decided to repeatedly suspend or lock accounts. These suspensions never give a reason or cite a rule violation, and as a result, many appeal their suspensions only to never hear back from Twitter’s team. Many people get frustrated with Twitter and give up on appeals to create new accounts, and given that their accounts were wrongfully suspended in the first place, who could blame them? The suspensions and restrictions that occurred on January 10th, 2020, appear to be in response to at least two media smear pieces (see here and here). These smear pieces do nothing to spread objective fact and seem to go out of their way to avoid fact-checking, something any responsible media outlet should be doing.
If Twitter truly cares about children, Jack Dorsey and company need to do the right thing by the community of minor attracted people. While I myself agree with Twitter’s policy that people should not “promote or glorify the sexual exploitation of children in any way,” I also believe Twitter is not doing nearly enough to protect an already vulnerable group of people from the throngs of vigilante hate groups on its platform.