Switter & Its Instant Rise

Alternative Social Network

switter+sex+worker+social+network.jpg

Switter is a sex-work friendly social network that has gained enormous popularity in the little time it's been online. It has received media attention from Vice, The Verge, Fast Company, etc. regarding its concept and its presence online in America since the passing of a new law. This new law has also shutdown USA advertising spaces, but Switter remains.

It’s (Switter) garnered almost 30k members in just two weeks.
— Jessica Rapana, WHIMN News Editor

The 5 Ws

 Switter's web traffic analytics via Alexa. 

Switter's web traffic analytics via Alexa. 

Many wondered what Switter was as they saw the name appear in news articles. Switter's sexual theme generated even more interest about who, what, when, where & why regarding this new website.

Who: Assembly Four

Assembly Four created Switter. They're an Australian based company that's dedicated to empowering sex workers globally with their products and services. 

Assembly Four's Website

WHAT: SEX-WORKER FRIENDLY SOCIAL

Switter is an instance (a Mastodon server) that's hosted by a federated social network called Mastodon. Switter is an adult-oriented platform for sex workers and their fans to communicate; furthermore, the network brings awareness to the stigmatization of sex workers from their own perspective. Especially now, after Backpage shutting down, users have witnessed numerous personal toots (similar to Twitter's tweets) from workers themselves relating to either increased violence, financial difficulties, streetwalking, etc. 

WHEN: MARCH 2018

Switter launched in late March 2018.

WHERE: AUSTRALIA

Switter originates from Australia. 

WHY: FOSTA/SESTA

Assembly Four discussing their reason behind Switter:

Switter was created in response to the recent effects of FOSTA/SESTA and shadow banning of many workers’ accounts. Despite the bill only just being passed, it has already had a detrimental affect on the community with sites such as Reddit and Craigslist pulling sections related to sex workers.

We set up Switter as a sex work-friendly alternative to mainstream social media which often censored workers.

The space is open to anyone involved in the sex industry. It is an open and free community where sex workers chat to fans, release new shoots, announce tour dates and whatever else they would like to share.
— Assembly Four

Media Frenzy

Switter has been the subject of many news articles since its release. 

AMERICAN SEX WORKER REFUGE

We realised that we needed to come up with a safe place for sex workers to communicate, and fast.
— J, Assembly Four employee

Several news outlets discussed Switter's release for workers in the USA after a new law, that threatens the safety for online escorting, passed. 

Sex Workers Find Refuge on Mastodon

Trump Just Signed a Law That Helped Create a
Twitter For Sex Workers

Switter: Sex Workers Use New Social Network

CLOUDFARE DROP

Congress didn’t do the hard work of understanding how the internet works and how this law should be crafted to pursue its goals without unintended consequences. We talked to them about this. A lot of groups did. And it was hard work that they decided not do.
— Cloudflare discussing their decision about Switter

Switter's previous, host, Cloudflare quickly dropped the website. This was an issue since Cloudflare supports an open internet. Switter was dropped due to the new FOSTA/SESTA laws in the USA.

Cloudflare: FOSTA Was a 'Very Bad Bill' That's Left the Internet's Infrastructure Hanging

Cloudflare Just Banned a Social Media Refuge for Thousands
of Sex Workers

Parental Warnings

That is when I received a rude awakening.
— Lindsey Kelly being melodramatic

There's also been articles for parents to make sure their children don't stumble upon this new full-blown adult-oriented den.

Switter: What Parents Need to Know

The author's quote from the link above made me laugh out loud. Literally.

Website Shutdowns

Many advertising venues have gone dark since FOSTA/SESTA passed. This has left both workers & clients scrambling everywhere to find each other, so Switter created a #swlisting feature. This feature allows workers to promote themselves and clients can find them by keyword. It now has 17,000+ listings as of today.

Forever Friendly

As of today, Switter has 60,000+ users. The hype and attention it has gotten from the media probably escalated its growth along with it being a new social network that sex workers can use a promotional tool.

Switter has been able to generate business & form new communications for many, but it's also brought the time wasters which has caused fuss from workers especially since it's a rough time for many in the USA.

As time goes on, the hype will eventually die down and Switter will hopefully remain as a helpful & friendly space for the sex community.