How Twitter Became The Number One Social Network For Nudists – Tech Social| Tech Social
“It seems like every nudist club, resort, or local nudist group all over the world has representation on Twitter,” says Matthew McDermott, a 44-year-old nudist and author from outside of Toronto. “Before Twitter, there were forums and a couple of websites still that were billed as nudist social media, but they get infiltrated quite heavily by spam … They need to be kept free from bots and people who are just looking for pictures or to steal photos.”
While Twitter’s terms of service bans graphic nudity in your header or avatar, it’s perfectly fine to share images and videos containing “full or partial nudity including close-ups of genitals, buttocks, or breasts,” which many nudists do, along with articles on nudism and body acceptance.
Many use their real names, but most don’t, Belcher said. Unlike Facebook, which takes pains to link users’ profiles with their real-life identities, Twitter is a safe place for people who may not be out to friends and family.
“Nudism historically has a shame element,” Belcher says. “A lot of people are secretive about it. They don’t say to friends and family that they are a nudist because they’re afraid of being judged.”
Belcher and his fellow nudists are frustrated by how frequently online networks lump them in with sexualized content. In fact, the biggest thing they want “textiles”—those who lived in the clothed world—to know is that true nudism is about being comfortable in your own skin and accepting all human bodies.
“Nudism and naturism are about being one with nature. It’s caring for Mother Earth and treating her with respect as well as viewing our bodies positively and viewing our bodies as a gift, a miracle,” says Jonathan Meek, a 35-year-old nudist in Ohio. “There is nothing sexual about naturists and nudists wanting to be nude.” On Twitter, the community self-polices, and if someone is deemed spammy or overly exhibitionist, most nudists will ignore them.
Matt Crawford, a 37-year-old nudist in Iowa, says it took him several years to come out as fully nudist on Twitter. When he initially signed up in 2009 and began posting naked photos of himself, people in his community reacted poorly. “A few years ago I just started posting more openly,” he says. “Twitter is more open to this stuff. The other nudists here are really supportive and open.”
Of course, no corner of the internet is completely free of toxicity. Female nudists, in particular, deal with an outsize portion of spam and harassment. “Although this is my nudist/bodypositive/sexuality account, I will check all my new followers. If it looks like all you do is collect porn, or I don’t feel comfortable, I’ll block,” Sophie Rolstad, a young female nudist in Romania, recently announced on Twitter.
And Twitter has a history of sudden policy changes that make many nudists worried.