Alternative Social Network
Switter is a sex-work friendly social network that has gained enormous popularity in the little time it's been online. It has received media attention from Vice, The Verge, Fast Company, etc. regarding its concept and its presence online in America since the passing of a new law. This new law has also shutdown USA advertising spaces, but Switter remains.
The 5 Ws
Many wondered what Switter was as they saw the name appear in news articles. Switter's sexual theme generated even more interest about who, what, when, where & why regarding this new website.
Who: Assembly Four
Assembly Four created Switter. They're an Australian based company that's dedicated to empowering sex workers globally with their products and services.
WHAT: SEX-WORKER FRIENDLY SOCIAL
Switter is an instance (a Mastodon server) that's hosted by a federated social network called Mastodon. Switter is an adult-oriented platform for sex workers and their fans to communicate; furthermore, the network brings awareness to the stigmatization of sex workers from their own perspective. Especially now, after Backpage shutting down, users have witnessed numerous personal toots (similar to Twitter's tweets) from workers themselves relating to either increased violence, financial difficulties, streetwalking, etc.
WHEN: MARCH 2018
Switter launched in late March 2018.
Switter originates from Australia.
Assembly Four discussing their reason behind Switter:
Switter has been the subject of many news articles since its release.
AMERICAN SEX WORKER REFUGE
Several news outlets discussed Switter's release for workers in the USA after a new law, that threatens the safety for online escorting, passed.
Switter's previous, host, Cloudflare quickly dropped the website. This was an issue since Cloudflare supports an open internet. Switter was dropped due to the new FOSTA/SESTA laws in the USA.
There's also been articles for parents to make sure their children don't stumble upon this new full-blown adult-oriented den.
The author's quote from the link above made me laugh out loud. Literally.
Many advertising venues have gone dark since FOSTA/SESTA passed. This has left both workers & clients scrambling everywhere to find each other, so Switter created a #swlisting feature. This feature allows workers to promote themselves and clients can find them by keyword. It now has 17,000+ listings as of today.
As of today, Switter has 60,000+ users. The hype and attention it has gotten from the media probably escalated its growth along with it being a new social network that sex workers can use a promotional tool.
Switter has been able to generate business & form new communications for many, but it's also brought the time wasters which has caused fuss from workers especially since it's a rough time for many in the USA.
As time goes on, the hype will eventually die down and Switter will hopefully remain as a helpful & friendly space for the sex community.