In this thesis, I navigate the relationship between anti-sex work policies and the censorship of inclusive sex education. Using TikTok as a case study, I explore how our safety is constructed and mediated on social networking sites as it relates to sex and sexuality. I turn to sex worker activists as experts on the intersection of sex, tech, and censorship for this research. With the knowledge created and shared by sex workers, I frame the censorship of sex education as digital violence rooted in anti-sex work bias that has potentially harmful impacts on the young users of the site. Through discourse analysis of pop sex education TikTok posts, TikTok’s Community Guidelines, and public policies relating to sex education, youth internet safety, and pornography, I highlight the need for a more liberatory digital future built by and with sex workers. In this paper I outline the connection between the fight for the decriminalization and destigmatization of sex work and the pursuit of queer and trans inclusive, anti-racist, body positive, medically accurate, comprehensive sex education. 

This thesis came together through a series of scribbled notes scrawled across books, articles, and blank sheets of paper. I invite you to take a look at my thought process in completing this project.


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