It was two and a half years ago that I presented at South By Southwest on sex workers and social media, particularly on the dangers of “real name policies.” Sex workers are using social media, not only to talk to fans, but to talk to each other, to create community while still maintaining a level of personal privacy that feels good for them.
I argued that demanding people use their legal names (erroneously called their “real” name) can make social media an incredibly unsafe place, with more abuse rather than less. I talked about some of the cons to social media, like the overzealous censorship of nudity while ignoring violent gore, or how bullying and harassment goes ignored.
It was a generally well-received presentation, and I noticed that times did change. Google Plus, who was the main offender, changed their policies first to allow nicknames, and then finally in July of this year, doing away with “real name” policies altogether. I figured the NymWars were over with that. Keep reading »