Elon Musk’s X is allowing users to post consensual adult content, formalising a prior Twitter policy


The social media platform X says it will now allow people to show consensual adult content, as long as it is clearly labeled as such. The move formalises a policy already in place when the platform was known as Twitter, before Musk purchased it in 2022. — AP

The social media platform X says it will now formally allow people to show consensual adult content, as long as it is clearly labelled as such. The move makes official a policy already in place when the platform was known as Twitter, before billionaire Elon Musk purchased it in 2022.

In a recent update on its website, the San Francisco-based company said users “should be able to create, distribute, and consume material related to sexual themes as long as it is consensually produced and distributed. Sexual expression, whether visual or written, can be a legitimate form of artistic expression.”

Adult material was allowed under the pre-Musk Twitter as well, although there was no official policy in place. X said it is restricting adult content for children and for adult users who choose not to see it.

“We also prohibit content promoting exploitation, nonconsent, objectification, sexualisation or harm to minors, and obscene behaviours,” X said. It added that it does not allow sharing adult content in “highly visible” places such as users’ profile photos or banners.

X’s policy stands in contrast to other social media platforms, such as Meta’s properties – Instagram and Facebook – as well as TikTok and Google's YouTube.

“The platform’s move to allow ‘adult content’ dovetails well with the company’s post-Musk marketing strategy," said Brooke Erin Duffy, associate professor of communication at Cornell University. “X is unapologetically provocative and has sought to distinguish itself from ‘brand safe’ competitors.”

The company appears to be courting people, including creators and artists, who have been marginalised by other social media platforms that have guidelines restricting nudity or sexual expression, she added.

The policy applies to real as well as artificial-intelligence-generated material.

X is asking users who regularly post adult content to adjust their media settings to place all their images and videos behind a content warning. This requires users to acknowledge that they want to see the posted image before they can view it. – AP

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