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While Facebook and Instagram have strict policies against sex workers soliciting services on the platforms, they don’t seem to have been as vigilant about stopping unwanted solicitations ending up in influencers’ inboxes.
Love Island contestant Tyne-Lexy Clarson said she was offered about $22,000 for dinner and drinks. Clarson was later offered about $55,000 for five nights in Dubai. She told the BBC that the solicitations are “life-changing amounts of money” but that she didn’t accept the requests.
Clarson isn’t the only influencer receiving solicitations. The BBC reports that several influencers said they’ve received offers and that it was an unexpected part of becoming famous on social media.
Celebrity agent Rob Cooper told the BBC that it’s not just women who are being sent these messages.
“I would say a high-level influencer or reality star receives these messages every single day,” Cooper told the BBC.
In recent years, social media companies have worked to ban sex workers and adult content creators from posting their content on their platforms. For example, Facebook and Instagram are banning some posts that include sexual emojis. And, Tinder took down dating profiles from sex workers.
However unwanted solicitations continue despite social media platforms’ stringent rules and attempts to force out sex workers and sexual content.
“Sexual solicitation is not tolerated on Instagram, and those who repeatedly break our guidelines will be banned,” a Facebook spokesperson told BBC. “We want Instagram to be a safe space for people to express themselves. We invest heavily in tools and technologies to prevent harassment on the platform.”
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Sierra Juarez is a freelance journalist and fact-checker based in Mexico. She most enjoys writing about human rights and politics and working in audience engagement. Her work has appeared in the Texas Tribune, the Austin American–Statesman, and the San Antonio Current.