ESWA report - The impact on censorship and digitial exclusion - febr 2022

The Impact of Online Censorship and Digital Discrimination on Sex Workers - European Sex Workers' Rights Alliance (

Some of the key points from ESWA's online meeting on Digital Rights:

  • There is an unequal relationship between sex workers and the online platforms they use. Sex workers clearly have less power than the platforms.
  • Sex workers use both sex work advertising platforms and social media platforms to advertise and seek clients.
  • Sex workers are especially discriminated against on platforms that are not for sex work, such as social media platforms. There is a lot of censorship, which is the blocking or banning of posts. In practice this means, for example, that your account gets blocked. And that in turn affects your income.
  • It is unclear how platforms make their decisions. Is this done by a computer or a human? It is also unclear what you can do against it as a sex worker. Can you protest a decision and how?
  • On sex worker advertising platforms, power increasingly lies with the clients rather than the sex workers.
  • Platforms with customer reviews are especially harmful to sex workers. It gives them less power and it is bad for mental health.
  • Online discrimination and censorship also affects sex work organizations. Sex workers are much less able to organize as a result.


ESWA report - The_impact_of_censorship_and_digital_exclusion_on_sex_workers_- 2022