Instagram is by far the most profitable social network for sex workers. You can grow a big audience quickly and when you link to your products it converts into sales way better than any other platform.
The problem is Instagram regularly deletes sex worker profiles from their platform. They even purge mainstream models and creators if they post things that are too sexy.
When this happens it’s the same feeling as losing a job or your business failing. The more dependent you are on Instagram for your income, the more personally devastating it is.
Why is Instagram deleting sex workers?
Whenever an account is deleted from Instagram they always say they are simply enforcing their community standards, which everyone has to follow.
But every sex worker knows these rules are not applied fairly and sex workers get deleted even when they don’t break any rules.
Instagram has never said why they are more strict with sex workers than with other groups. It’s probably a combination of factors with the main one being their bottom line.
Instagram depends on advertising dollars for its income so let’s be realistic, no major advertiser wants to be associated with porn in any way. It’s in their financial interest to make the site as family-friendly as can be.
Social media companies have also been stricter with sex workers since the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) became law in the United States.
These laws make site and app owners responsible if sex trafficking happens on their websites. It’s made most companies jittery with anything sex-related.
These laws have a noble aim — to stop sex trafficking — but some groups and individuals are using them to target sex workers and get their accounts deleted.
Religious groups and individuals with a moral crusade against porn have learned if they report profiles for sex trafficking then moderators will be cautious and delete profiles with no investigation or fact-checking.
This can even just be an ordinary member of the public reporting your profile. One major pornstar told me she usually gets her account deleted when she has a photo with a celebrity. She feels that the celebrities fans don’t like them hanging out with a pornstar and so report her profile to get her deleted.
How to get your Instagram account back
The first thing to do is to try to keep calm, don’t get too upset yet. There is still hope for getting your account back. It once took my business over 3 months to get an account back but we got it in the end.
Instagram is better than it used to be as they now provide a simple form for appealing against wrongly deleted accounts.
When you submit the form it’s important to really think about why you may have been deleted. Instagram probably won’t reply to you, in most cases they will either reactivate the account or ignore you.
Be sure to think carefully about what triggered the deletion, for example, if you just made a post that might have pushed the community guidelines a bit too much then you should be incredibly apologetic.
Whereas if you believe you are deleted due to reports by a religious group or maybe someone you had a Twitter fight with, then you should take a different tone. In this case, I would be using words to make you sound like a victim of an organised attack. Use words like harassment, discrimination, etc.
Try to be overwhelmingly kind in your messages. Do your best to get the recipient on side. Try to emphasise with them. Don’t be angry.
You should also swallow your pride and resort to a bit of begging. It’s sad but it seems to work. Tell them this is your only income, you don’t know how you will pay your bills without your account.
It’s a bit humiliating to send a message begging for your account back but if you get it back it’s worth it and no one will know except you.
If you are lucky your account will be restored in the next 24 hours but if not then you should contact APAG for help, they are a union for porn performers. They have had meetings with Instagram and have a further arbitration process that might make it more likely to get your account restored.
In the meantime, you need to be persistent. Always be polite and friendly but hound them until you get your account back. Contact Instagram daily about your account, Tweet them, get your fans to Tweet them. If you have any contacts that work at Facebook then see if they can help too.
Just keep sending messages, don’t give up. Your next message might be seen by someone sympathetic and you could get your account back, maybe it will be one of your fans, you never know!