This week saw draconian policing directed towards the dominatrix listing site, Professional Mistresses (NSFW). There can be little doubt this was done to “send a message”. UK censors seem to have a particular bee in their bonnet about BDSM, and also Twitter, for its defence of free expression, including sexual expression, regularly comes under attack from UK authorities and media.
So it’s not too surprising that last Sunday, the site’s webmaster was arrested at his home, taken to his local police station, and questioned for two hours before being de-arrested. The arrest seemed to have been triggered following a complaint about the site’s tweets being “unsuitable for children”. It should be noted at this point that sending out tweets or any other communication “unsuitable for children” is not illegal! As we know, THINK OF THE CHILDREN is standard fare for people wanting to ban legal things.
The webmaster explained in an email to his list:
“… late on Sunday afternoon, a marked police car attended my property and arrested me. The arrest was made by my local police force who had received a complaint from the Thames Valley police area, due to what they claim were tweets on the Professional Mistress twitter account, that was unsuitable for children (or that’s the excuse they gave). I spent 2 hours being interviewed before being de-arrested…
During the 2 hours, they showed me a couple of examples of tweets, which were just links to promoting mistresses on the site and also a retweet of another mistresses. I made it very clear that there was nothing illegal about my directory site or tweets, but they refused to give me a reason why they felt it was… A brief mention of trafficking was brought up, but I knocked that on the head within minutes, pointing out whilst I vet profiles, in great detail, I am not the “pimp” for those listed on the site.”
Also note the chilling mention of “trafficking”, which has become the standard excuse for anti-prostitution campaigners determined to blur the clear lines between illegal immigration and legal sex work.
Why are police arresting people for non-crimes? It’s unlikely this was an accident or a coincidence, and I also seriously doubt whether the complaint came from an outraged member of the public.
The UK authorities often appear to be outraged that Twitter, a US-based service, and so with its free speech protected by the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, operates in the UK, where we (sadly) have no legal defences against state censorship. Expect more UK attacks against the BDSM, porn and sex work communities and against users of Twitter, coming soon.
11 thoughts on “Alert: Domme Directory Webmaster Arrested “For Tweeting”!”
“Tweets unsuitable for children”!? Thats hilarious. Porn aside, some fot eh spats I read on twitter in words alone are unsuitable for children and im sure in the end user licence t7c’s you have to be of a certain age to be a twitter user anyway as is the case with FaceBook.
This case wouldve been given short shrift if it came to anything but it highlights a problem with how different ares of the UK deal with this and simiar things like pron raids in different ways. Ive known people who were hit with stiffer fines or threats of sentences a lot harsher than in London
This tells me that different jurisdictions interpret and enforce the same law in different ways and why everyone in the sex business should be part of a proactive body or at least support or become a member or all of the above to stay ahead of the law . You never know when you might need it to fall back on in your moment of need
James Brown said it best : Get on up, Get into it and get involved!
Make like the man said
we do have legal defences against state censorship its called the human rights act just saying
but its hard to say what happened here but we should not jump to conclusions we need more proof to see if it was accident or a coincidence or a outraged member of the public or a act to “send a message”
also its unlikely there will be more UK attacks against against users of Twitter after this
but you should keep fighting this 🙂
You’re right, HRA Article 10 protects free expression. Except it’s worthless. Here are the caveats:
“The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”
well :/ I may have to be tested in court first…
Yes, it will be good to see cases brought, and find out what judges think about “protection of morals”.
-“UK censors seem to have a particular bee in their bonnet about BDSM”
Authoritarians tend to dislike BDSM because they are opposed to things like consent, safe words and are just jealous that they are not the ones allowed to hold the whip.
They would like to inflict repeated pain and misery on you, without you having any say on it.
This man was “arrested”, huh? Sounds kinky. The only thing missing is a “prison spanking”.
reminiscent of how gays were demonized and arrested in the 60s… it was illegal to be gay because of their different sexual practices and government is still doing it today… when do we start calling it as it is, government sanctioned discrimination
As BDSM is not a sexual service as defined by the law governing prostitution, the police are on even shakier legal ground. I’m guessing they studied the site closely and probably decided to give the webmaster a tug to see what falls out after failing to find any crimes being committed by the dommes advertising.
Let’s face it, the UK authorities regard the US 1st Amendment with utter contempt and are increasingly on a collision course with it. I am surprised there has been so little comment about this in the media, especially across the Atlantic.
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