Let us talk about sex, baby! Peech launches shortcuts tool to fight shadowbanning
In collaboration with Worth Your While, the open-source tool helps users talk about sex on social media, without slipping up on community guidelines.
- Liz Gorny
- 1 March 2023
Last year, It’s Nice That spoke to inclusive condom brand Jems for a feature about the impact of graphic design on sex positivity. We learnt a lot, particularly about the uphill battle sex educators, retailers and influencers face in sharing their work on social media without being slapped with a ban. Jems, for example, can’t write the word condoms on Instagram – it has to spell it with zeros instead. Peech are among the many sexual wellness retailers that have to contend with this issue on social media. So the brand has launched S3xy Shortcuts, a tool helping users “hack” this form of digital communication.
S3xy Shortcuts was made in collaboration with the Copenhagen and London-based agency Worth Your While. It allows anyone to download a list of “forbidden words” to your IOS and upload them to your keyboard shortcuts, a press release explains. These words would typically be caught by the algorithm and flagged. Instead, they’re autocorrected to a combination of letters and numbers, allowing the post to be published with decreased risk. “This means that penis becomes p3nis, vulva becomes vulv4, and so on,” says Peech. “That way, you don’t risk overlooking a word that could get you banned.”
Though it may seem counterintuitive to cover words in order to encourage open conversation, Peech’s aim is to make communication not only easier, but possible. The brand explains its position: “Since the beginning, Peech has worked around the algorithm by replacing certain letters with numbers whenever ‘forbidden’ words were used. And instead of being frustrated by something you can’t change, why not claim ownership instead?”
The release adds: “Platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Facebook censor and shadowban without blinking an eye and it can be a struggle to communicate about one of the most natural things in the world.”
Peech hopes the open-source tool will ultimately help professionals in the field of sexuality do their work. As shadowbanning leads to decreased exposure and engagement, it can also impact sales. “Shadowbanning is therefore not just an annoying obstacle, it actually has an enormous impact on your entire business,” says Peech.
S3xy Shortcuts is a free tool available for anyone to download here. It is currently available on IOS devices, with hopes of rolling out on Android soon.
GalleryWorth Your While: Peech (Copyright © Peech, 2023)
Worth Your While: Peech (Copyright © Peech, 2023)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.