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08.02.14

Porn Stars Want to Know: Why Did Facebook Delete Me?

The social network isn’t impressed. Maybe it’s the shock of seeing your bubble butt popping out of skimpy bikini. Or maybe it’s just because you’re a porn star.

Why did Facebook delete me?

Or, I should say, why did Facebook delete my account three times? Yes, three times.

Exactly what prompts the social network to erase porn stars accounts even when they abide by the rules is something of a mystery. Maybe it’s the hard nipples protruding from a silk shirt or the Wonder Woman pose in lingerie. Or perhaps it’s the shock of seeing a bubble butt popping out of a skimpy bikini. It could be offensive language. You know, like, “Have a naughty Saturday” or “come play with my pussy” (with a picture of a kitty cat).

Then again, maybe it’s just because they’re porn stars.

Regular people frequently post the same content without fear of censorship. Think about how much time you spend posting photos and talking to “friends” in the comments. Some people upload content to Facebook for the perpetual online access it provides. We imagine it’ll be there forever. If your computer crashes or your home catches fire your content remains safe and secure in your virtual scrapbook. It’s all in the cloud.

Unless of course you happen to be a porn star.

I was devastated the first time I was deleted, and dumbfounded each time thereafter. Sure I've posted a few bikini photos, but nothing that wasn’t family appropriate. The photos I posted were conservative by porn standards and less sexually suggestive than most magazine covers.

Yet my accounts were deleted when I supposedly violated the terms of use. I lost contact with friends and acquaintances, irreplaceable photos from mobile uploads, and my faith in social media. Maybe my photos were flagged by a religious zealot trying to save my soul, or perhaps one of my "friends" wrote a derogatory comment beneath it. I wrote the word “ass” on a Twitter post that linked to my Facebook account and was shut down shortly thereafter. It could have been coincidence. Since my inquiries as to why it happened were ignored, I really don’t know.

The social networking site's policy isn’t clear: “You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” Yet violent images are condoned in the “right” circumstances so long as they do not celebrate brutality. But if a porn star shares a bikini photo does that automatically become pornographic material? Context matters.

“We’re allowed to put things on Facebook like war pictures, people that are dead or beheaded, some are even allowed to post dick pictures.”

I emailed this question to Facebook but received only an automated reply saying they’d do their best to get in touch later. Again, they never did.

Sometimes it’s not the photos porn star Tanya Tate posts but the complaints her pictures receive that flag her. “We’re allowed to put things on Facebook like war pictures, people that are dead or beheaded, some are even allowed to post dick pictures. But because I am a porn star if someone complains about my page, Facebook errs on the side of caution and deletes it,” she says.

It’s appalling to think that lingerie is more offensive than gore. Once she posted a photo of herself in a bra. While there was no nudity, the photo was still deleted and she was suspended for 24 hours. She had to go through a virtual checklist agreeing not to post material like that again.

“Everyone else can get away with it but not me,” Tanya says.

After several rounds of Facebook deletions, Cindy Starfall continues to try her luck. She says her posts have changed from flirty Maxim-style bikini shots to controlled images from the waist up. Afraid to lose her account over a simple shot of short shorts, Cindy strives to follow the invisible rules for adult entertainers. “I just opened a brand new account and it’s been open for a few weeks,” says Cindy. “I only have 8,000 [likes] so far, so I am going to try to tone it down even more so it’s just face shots.” Some stars believe that the more likes you get the more likely you are to be deleted.

Despite the constant rejection Cindy remains adamant about maintaining her user status. “I like Facebook so I can post videos and am not limited to 140 characters,” she says. “It’s still the most popular with my clientele. The thirty and forty-year-olds, they prefer Facebook. Twitter is for the younger generations.”

Even now as Twitter and Facebook compete and become even more alike, there is a massive divide between users. Twitter seems very porn-friendly and is often relaxed about their posts. If you follow certain porn stars or directors you'll see timelines overflowing with action shots and nudity. Click the option to be warned about sensitive media and these naughty images won't be thrust at you. While I've never used Twitter this way, I appreciate the creative freedom it provides. Unlike Facebook, here you have the power of choice. If adult stars gave up on Facebook they’d lose access to a huge chunk of their fans but it might be worth it.

Through trial and error I've discovered how to successfully keep a Facebook account with my stage name: don’t link to any other accounts, make it a personal profile, post infrequently, don’t allow others to post to your timeline, and monitor all tags.

Which is to say, all of this zaps the fun out of the “social” network.

I’d rather tweet.