In its updated Community Standards, Facebook has cracked down on the use of its platform by users soliciting sex and sexual activities.
This policy also applies to Instagram and is aimed at stopping people from using the social media sites as a place to organise hook-ups, which would obviously affect sex workers whose job it is to do exactly that.
Facebook says that while it acknowledges that the platform is used to "discuss and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation", it draws the line at content that "facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters between adults." That extends to the potential restriction of "sexually explicit language that may lead to solicitation."
The rationale is that members of its "global community" could be particularly sensitive to content that falls under this umbrella.
To keep this kind of sexy talk off the website, Facebook is prepared to do the unthinkable - policing emoji. The guidelines do stress that it's not just going to happen willy nilly, but is specifically related to the solicitation guidelines.
The updated standards have been in place since August but were only recently clocked by XBiz.
A spokesperson responded to the site's question about its apparent clampdown on sex workers, but they maintained that "nothing changed in terms of the policy itself or how we enforce it, we simply updated the language to make it clearer for our community.”
So keep using those aubergines, peaches, and cats, and let us know how you get on. [Independent]
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.