Sex Workers Say Porn on Google Drive Is Suddenly
Sex workers are reporting that their Google Drive files are
mysteriously locked or vanishing.
Mar 21 2018, 7:07pm
Porn performer Avey Moon was trying to send the lucky winner
of her Chaturbate contest his prize--one of her videos,
titled "POV Blowjob"--through her Google Drive account. But
it wouldn't send, and Google wasn't telling her why.
"I thought there was something wrong with my file and I got
rather worried," Moon told me in a Twitter message. "I had
promised this guy his content and he was so good to me. I
was panicked because I thought if I couldn't give him his
prize, he would feel like he got ripped off and never come
back again or worse, he could actually file a complaint with
Chaturbate about me and they can take money from me."
She's not alone. Six porn performers I talked to and more on
social media said that they suddenly can't download adult
content they keep on Google Drive. They also said they can't
a share that content with other accounts or send to clients.
In some cases, the adult content is disappearing from Drive
without warning or explanation. The porn performers I talked
to started sounding the alarm on Twitter last week. They
said that Google Drive no longer seemed sex-trade friendly,
detailing error messages and sharing cloud storage
alternatives with each other.
When I asked about sexual content being blocked on Drive, a
spokesperson for Google directed me to the Drive policy
page--specifically the section on sexually explicit
material, which says, "Do not publish sexually explicit or
pornographic images or videos.... Additionally, we do not
allow content that drives traffic to commercial
pornography." Writing about porn and sex is permitted, the
policy states, as long as it's not accompanied by sexually
explicit images or videos. According to Google, Drive uses a
combination of automated systems and manual review to decide
what's in violation.
"It's very oppressive. And it's making my job hellish."
"I heard randomly that someone got one piece of their adult
content flagged, that was stored on Google Drive," adult
performer Melody Kush told me in Twitter direct messages.
She's been using Google Drive for most of the last five and
a half years she's worked as a performer full-time, but
started using it more heavily for work in the last three
years. "I didn't think anything of it. Then I heard it
again, different person. Then it happened to me." She said
she tried to send a video to a client that she'd
successfully sent to one other person before, but this time,
she received an error message, saying that the item may
violate Google's Terms of Service, with a link to request a
The video title contained the phrase "cum show," which Kush
suspected triggered the system.
But unlike Kush and Moon, others have gotten this error on
videos even when the title isn't explicit. "It's just the
content, which is the strange part," adult performer Lilly
Stone told me in a Twitter direct message. Her Drive account
contains mostly adult content, but her images aren't
affected by this error--only videos, some of which have
begun to disappear without warning or explanation.
Read more: Google Docs Is Randomly Flagging Files for
Violating its Terms of Service
"It seems like all of our videos in Google Drive are getting
flagged by some sort of automated system," Stone said.
"We're not even really getting notified of it, the only way
we really found out was one of our customers told us he
couldn't view or download the video we sent him."
Stone's files aren't removed from Drive, but when she tries
to play the video or download it, she said Google gives her
an error message: "Whoops! There was a problem playing this
video" with an option to download the item, but the download
link doesn't work.
Some sex workers are wondering if this has something to do
with the impending vote on the SESTA-FOSTA bill, which is on
the Senate floor for debate this week. Performer Hailey
Heartless told me that she's not sure if it's a "blitz" that
Google is doing, or if it's just something many sex workers
noticed at once, and got the conversation started--but she's
heard from dozens of people in the industry about the issue,
after tweeting about her own experience.
It could also be that Google is simply, suddenly, deciding
to enforce its Terms of Service. The fact remains that
Google Drive is either glitching out and impacting people's
livelihoods, or suddenly enforcing its Terms of Service
without warning. Adult performer Ramona Flour told me in an
email that she's been using a paid version of Drive with 1
TB of storage, which costs $9.99 a month, for five years,
but she just started getting error messages last week.
"It's very oppressive. And it's making my job hellish," Moon
told me. "I'm still stressing about finding a way around
this. I don't believe that Google should be allowed to
dictate what you and another consenting adult send to each
other through email."
Posted on RetroBBS II
Microsoft to ban 'offensive language' from Skype, Xbox,
Office and other services
Microsoft will ban 'offensive language' and 'inappropriate
content' from Skype, Xbox, Office and other services on May
1, claiming it has the right to go through your private data
Better watch out if you are playing Xbox, get ticked, and
cuss. Microsoft might ban you for the "offensive language."
If they do, then say bye-bye to your Xbox Gold Membership
and any Microsoft account balances.
Or if you and a significant other are getting hot and heavy
via Skype, you better watch your language and any nudity
because that, too, can get you banned. The ban hammer could
also fall if Cortana is listening at the wrong moment or if
documents and files hosted on Microsoft services violate
Microsoft's amended terms.
The changes are part of the new Microsoft Terms of Services
agreement that go into effect on May 1 and cover a plethora
of Microsoft services.
[ Learn how to protect personally identifiable information
(PII) under GDPR. | Get the latest from CSO by signing up
for our newsletters. ]
Civil rights activist and law student Jonathan Corbett took
the time to read the new terms and sounded the alarm.
Microsoft provided a summary of the changes; number 5
In the Code of Conduct section, we've clarified that use
of offensive language and fraudulent activity is prohibited.
We've also clarified that violation of the Code of Conduct
through Xbox Services may result in suspensions or bans from
participation in Xbox Services, including forfeiture of
content licenses, Xbox Gold Membership time, and Microsoft
account balances associated with the account.
What qualifies as offensive language?
Offensive language is fairly vague. Offensive to whom? What
my granny might find offensive and what I might find
offensive could be vastly different. But how would Microsoft
even know if you had truly been "offensive"? Well, that part
falls under Code of Conduct Enforcement, which states, "When
investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft
reserves the right to review Your Content in order to
resolve the issue."
Microsoft did add, "However, we cannot monitor the entire
Services and make no attempt to do so."
I'm not sure that will make you feel better, as another
portion states that Microsoft "may also block delivery of a
communication (like email, file sharing or instant message)
to or from the Services in an effort to enforce these Terms
or we may remove or refuse to publish Your Content for any
Corbett also pointed out a portion of text found in
Microsoft's new agreement:
Don't publicly display or use the Services to share
inappropriate content or material (involving, for example,
nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic
violence, or criminal activity).
Corbett then wrote:
So wait a sec: I can't use Skype to have an adult video
call with my girlfriend? I can't use OneDrive to back up a
document that says "f*ck" in it? If I call someone a mean
name in Xbox Live, not only will they cancel my account, but
also confiscate any funds I've deposited in my account? (And
are we no longer allowed to shoot people in Call of Duty?
Animated violence doesn't really get any more "graphic" than
this Microsoft-approved video game offers.)
Are Microsoft's ToS changes due to FOSTA/SESTA?
Some folks believe the changes in Microsoft's terms may be
related to Congress passing the Fight Online Sex Trafficking
Act (FOSTA), which was combined with the Stop Enabling
Sex-Trafficking Act (SESTA). FOSTA/SESTA would hold
platforms responsible for users' speech, illegally shared
content, and anything that might be construed as
trafficking. It has been called "the death of the open
The Department of Justice warned that the bill "raises a
serious constitutional concern," as it "shall apply
regardless of whether the conduct alleged occurred [sic], or
is alleged to have occurred, before, on, or after such date
of enactment." In short, since it applies retroactively, it
applies to trafficking that took place before the law passed
-- which the DoJ believes violates the Constitution's Ex
Post Facto Clause.
When the Senate passed the bill, the Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF) called it a "dark day for the Internet"
because it is "a bill that silences online speech by forcing
Internet platforms to censor their users." FOSTA/SESTA is
"the worst of both worlds." The EFF added, "When the
Department of Justice is the group urging Congress not to
expand criminal law and Congress does it anyway, something
is very wrong."
Already, Craigslist shuttered its "personals" section, and
Reddit banned numerous subreddits. Craigslist explained,
"Any tool or service can be misused. We can't take such risk
without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are
regretfully taking Craigslist personals offline. Hopefully
we can bring them back some day."
When FOSTA/SESTA passed the House, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
-- a critic of the bill -- warned, "This bill will only prop
up the entrenched players who are rapidly losing the
public's trust. The failure to understand the technological
side effects of this bill -- specifically that it will
become harder to expose sex-traffickers, while hamstringing
innovation -- will be something that this congress will
Posted on RetroBBS II