Why This Teen Walked Away From Millions of TikTok Followers

March 29, 2021

Sixteen-year-old Ava Rose Beaune was hanging out at a friend’s house on an otherwise unremarkable mid-July afternoon when her cell service briefly shut off. She tried to text her dad, but it wouldn’t send—definitely odd, she thought, but not alarming.
Then people started messaging her: Did you see what’s on your Twitter? Your Instagram? What’s going on? She logged on to her social media accounts and saw that her new Facebook status alluded to suicide—but she hadn’t posted it.
With more than 2 million followers on TikTok, Ava was a minor celebrity in her own circles. So, she said, she was used to men being creepy, or even hostile. This was extreme, she thought, but it was over. But it wasn’t. This was only the beginning of weeks of daily harassment so severe it would uproot her life entire life.

The Crusade Against Pornhub Is Going to Get Someone Killed

April 13, 2021

A post by an extremist Christian group on the far-right social media platform Gab called for the death of a specific Pornhub executive. “WANTED,” the image posted to Gab, featuring a man’s headshot and full name, said. “For crimes against women and children. Help us bring pornstars to justice. Save your children from the LGBT ideology. Save your daughter from becoming a whore. Save the white race!” Another image in the same post shows a man in military fatigues and a black ski mask holding a gun. 
For years, anti-trafficking organizations have pushed agendas that toe the line of vigilantism. They shouldn’t be surprised when someone takes their version of “justice” into their own hands.

Sex Workers Banned from Banks Turn to Crypto

April 7, 2022

For our fifth episode of CRYPTOLAND, Motherboard visited Allie and Belle Creed, another sex worker primarily using cryptocurrency, at the Las Vegas headquarters for Spankchain, a crypto platform made for sex workers by sex workers. 
Crypto and NFTs are the only reason many were able to weather last year’s shakeups in the porn industry—OnlyFans announced and then walked back a decision to ban NSFW material, which caused them to lose subscribers, and Visa, Mastercard and Discover cut ties with Pornhub, cutting off hundreds of performers from their livelihoods. In October, Mastercard implemented even more strict rules for adult content platforms and their creators, causing them to lose even more money—and opening them up to more vulnerability.