“Puritan echoes, risky bodies and the value of sex in social media”

As networked communications have grown infrastructural in how everyday lives are managed and lived, social media have come to operate as infrastructures of intimacy that play important roles in how people come together, stay in contact, maintain distances and proximities, and possibly fall out. At the same time, the increasingly aggressive “deplatforming of sex” from social media in the name of unspecified notions of safety involves the effacement of both sexual imagery and sexual communication from the palette of exchanges available to the users of social media giants such as Instagram and Facebook. Exploring the Puritan echoes inherent in social media content policies and community standards, this talk asks what kinds of bodies and bodily interactions become marked as risky and unsafe within them; what and what kinds of value (affective, political, economical) sex holds on them; and what is ultimately at stake in social media assembling platformed sociability void of sex.

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