Twitter’s Reported Policy Change on Child Sexual Exploitation is Adding Fuel to a Spreading Wildfire

Statistics Canada reports 233% jump in child pornography incidents in the last decade

– and that’s in Canada one of the least offending countries.

Twitter’s recently reported softening of its policy on “CES”, or “child sexual exploitation”, is at the very least confusing, and at most disturbing. The March 2019 policy now says it allows on its platform:

“discussions related to… attraction towards minors provided they don’t promote or glorify child sexual exploitation in any way” (emphasis in original); and, “artistic depictions of nude minors in a non-sexualized context or setting may be permitted in a limited number of scenarios.”

How do you make sense of a policy that allows pedophiles and child pornographers to discuss their “attraction towards minors” on a platform that was designed to “promote” ideas, and then splash a bit of water on it by saying we won’t tolerate pedophiles and child pornographers promoting their ideas?

Moreover, such a change permits pedophiles and child pornographers to tweet indiscriminately to a world of often impressionable young people, and people largely unaware that the tweet they are about to read discusses pedophilia and child sexual exploitation. How is that not “promoting” “attraction towards minors.” Doesn’t this in fact mean that pedophiles and child pornographers are now being allowed to “promote” their pedophilia beyond the limited reach of their psychiatrists’ couch and small groups on a credible, global platform like Twitter?

Why didn’t Twitter at the very least say something like, we will no longer suspend accounts that have discussions of child sexual attraction; however, we automatically mute or block their tweets. Those explicitly wanting to read them have to un-mute or un-block them. Or, they could also have a policy that clealry identifies those pedophilia/child pornographer accounts to make it obvious to other twitter users who do not want to open a tweet and be exposed to pedophile discussions and images that were placed there on the claim they are “artistic”? That’s what the evening news does with all kinds of material that could be upsetting for any number of reasons. Did that not occur to Twitter?

These are dangerous times, especially if you are a child. We need a Greta Thunberg to advocate for a change in the wildfire climate of child pornography and pedophilia.

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