Last August, performer and content creator Sophie Ladder noticed that different content platforms had different notions of what they considered “restricted content.”
So Ladder — who is also a photographer, Domme and web developer — decided to compile the variations in the form of a shareable spreadsheet.
After publishing the first draft on Twitter, Ladder asked her followers to help proofread it and make sure there were no errors.
“That first version I posted had seven sites and 17 different categories,” Ladder told XBIZ. “By the end of the day I had updated it to 12 sites and removed one category, as I realized tracking it wouldn’t yield anything different across sites.”
Today, the spreadsheet of restrictions to adult content, mapping the corporate self-censorship imposed on content creators has grown to 21 adult-selling sites and 16 categories (a second category was later removed and one was added).
A Popular Resource for Models
Ladder started compiling this list because she was curious to see how the sites compared. “I wasn’t able to find anything like it when I searched so I decided to make my own,” she told XBIZ.
“It was interesting to see how different types of sites are, as a whole, more or less restrictive. The free tube sites overall are the most open, banning few things. The clip stores are somewhat restrictive. And the live camming sites are the most strict.”
For Ladder, it made sense for tube sites to be less restrictive, since they don’t have to deal with credit card company restrictions, which rule what payment processors can and cannot work with, in the same way as the other platforms.
“But I was surprised to see how cam sites on average were more restrictive than clip sites,” she added. “My assumption is this has to do with payment processors again, and the difference between live streaming and pre-recorded video.”
One thing that was difficult for Ladder when putting this resource together was determining exactly what a particular site’s rules actually are.
“One would hope that all the rules are spelled-out in the Terms of Service (TOS) or Upload Rules, but often what we’re told on the site is only a percentage of the full rules,” she explained. “I have emailed many of these sites about their rules and read through emails that other models have gotten from the support teams at different sites. The most frustrating thing is when support tells people different things, so I don’t know which to trust.”
On the other hand, she noticed, “many of these sites’ rules are vague to avoid the crackdown from their payment processors that would come with explicitly allowing X, Y, Z content, so instead their rules just don’t really mention X, Y, Z.”
The ‘Porn vs. Credit Card Companies’ Game
Personally, Ladder says she disagrees with “a great number of the prohibitions.”
For Ladder, these are Puritanical morals enforced by the credit card companies, through the processors. “Menstrual blood is one of the most banned topics, yet it happens naturally without anyone getting hurt. I find a lot of the rules foolish, but banning menstrual blood is the silliest — it’s natural! Overall, if you want to consensually do something I think you should be able to.”
Feedback has been “overwhelming” every time Ladder has shared the spreadsheet on social media.
“People love it,” she told XBIZ. “My aim in making this was always to have a resource that would be valuable to the community, and it feels good to know you’ve created something useful.”
Whenever she has been wrong about rules, she said, “the community has been great to point out those errors when they exist, and I’ve had models message me when a site updates its TOS so I can update the spreadsheet. I’ve also asked models what sites they wanted to see including and updated it accordingly.”
Ladder wanted to stress that, while the spreadsheet can reveal what is allowed on certain sites, “it can’t tell you if your content will actually get removed.”
“Many, many models have content up that go against a site’s listed terms but they use different keywords that won’t get flagged,” she explained. “I can’t, in good conscience, advocate for people to do this as it can still get your accounts shut down, but it’s common and the reality of our game of ‘porn vs the credit card companies’.”
To check out the last version of Sophie Ladder’s platform prohibitions (aka “restricted content”) spreadsheet, click here.