Yet another service kicked sex workers off its platform. According to Motherboard, Linktree, a tool that lets you share multiple links with a single URL online, kicked off sex workers overnight and without warning. Banned users took to social media like Twitter to announce that their accounts had been banned “for inappropriate use” and didn’t even receive an email or notice about it. Some were reportedly charged for the service, which costs $9 per month for the Pro tier, but were not refunded when their account was cancelled.
Marlene Bonnelly, head of trust and safety at Linktree, told the publication that the banned accounts shared a URL that violated its Community Standards. Bonnelly’s statement reads:
“As per our company policies, the banned Linktree accounts resulted from sharing a URL that violated Community Standards by sharing advertisements for the sale of real sex.”
Sex workers use tools like Linktree because some platforms don’t allow direct links to adult websites like OnlyFans. Perhaps more importantly, they need to diversify the use of multiple websites, because they’ll never know when a service will suddenly decide to ban adult content.
Financial services like PayPal, Visa and MasterCard have long been known to close the accounts of people in the sex trade. Patreon banned sexual content in 2017, and the number of services that have decided not to host sex workers and their content has only increased since the US government passed FOSTA-SESTA ago. a few years. Even OnlyFans, which has become synonymous with adult content, attempted to ban “sexually explicit conduct” in 2021 until it suspended its planned policy change.
Linktree’s terms of service state that a user must not “include sexually explicit material (including images and language) on your page itself or on your account itself.” However, it’s vague and not entirely clear if linking to websites like OnlyFans has always been against its rules. It’s also unclear why Linktree suddenly started banning sex workers when they’ve been using the service without issue for some time, but sex workers may want to find another sharing tool links they can use.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.