Is pole dance suddenly so inappropriate that it should be banned on social media?

Pole dance can be both sexy and entertaining, but in reality, it’s a serious sports activity that requires lots of training, determination and discipline. We now know that pole dance is a sports activity and art – all in one.

When I think about pole dance, the first word that comes to my mind is definitely (self) acceptance. Pole dance is all about stepping out of your comfort zone, accepting your body and overcoming all the negative beliefs about yourself. I really can’t point out the downside of this activity.

 

Popularity brought problems

As pole dance gained its popularity in the last couple of years, the community around this sports activity grew tremendously. More and more women that were involved in pole dance started to show their pole dance skills, but also failures, online. All those posts were all about praising pole dance, empowering other women and celebrating the human body’s abilities.

But around two years ago, the first signs of censorship on social media started to pop up. Many posts and pole-related hashtags on Instagram were blocked with the explanation that they violate Instagram’s community guidelines. Pole dancers from all around the world couldn’t connect and share their pole-related content on Instagram anymore. Several small businesses related to pole dance found themselves in trouble as they couldn’t communicate with their community.

 

Dr. Carolina Are, who researched how tech platforms moderated content in 2020, published an academic paper titled “How Instagram’s algorithm is censoring women and vulnerable users but helping online abusers.” In the paper, Dr. Are, who is also a very active pole dancer (and pole dance teacher) herself, wrote that throughout 2019 and 2020, Instagram used shadowbans to hide pictures and videos they deemed inappropriate without deleting them, thus preventing freelancers, artists, sex workers, activists and largely, women from reaching new audiences and potentially expanding their pages. Very recently, she experienced the same kind of censorship on TikTok that removed her pole dancing video with the explanation that it violates community guidelines, and promotes adult nudity and sexual activity.

All those stories made me think a lot about this topic. What is acceptable and what is not? Is pole dance really such a pornographic and hateful activity? I don’t think so. For me, it is primarily a great workout that helped me and other women to get stronger and more self-confident. And I think that there are so many women all around the world that would totally agree. The pole dance community is so supportive, non-judgemental and positive in all possible aspects that I really can’t understand what these shadowban attempts are all about.

Everyone should have the right to express themselves freely. And as long as bikini snaps are allowed on social media platforms, I don’t see any reason what on Earth should be wrong with pole-related posts and videos.

 

 

What are your thoughts about the pole-related content censorship that is happening on social media platforms? It’s an important topic for the whole pole dance community out there and that’s why I would really like to hear your opinion about it. Please, join this important discussion by leaving a comment down below.

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