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The Hidden Ones

As web designers we use a wide range of internet services from various businesses including mailing list software, analytics, automation, banking and accounting to name just a few. However it amazes me the level of hypocrisy that exists when it comes to dealing with certain categories of business.

This was illustrated this week when the business (transferwise) who we use, and frankly only do so to transfer money from the UK to Cyprus, decided it did not like our “business risk profile”, double speak for the fact it did not like our client list. Now we have had a transferwise account for nearly two years, they verified our business, and we let the account site dormant until two months ago when we decided to use it to transfer some money more as a test than anything. The transfer went through well so a month later we did the same thing again, this time they summarily closed the account after taking the money, only returning it four days later.

The reason given as I said was they did not like our “business risk profile”. Given that they take the money from our bank and transfer it to another bank quickly and for a small fee there really is zero risk, we also checked their terms of business and web designers are not excluded, however the usual suspects, on line gambling, tobacco, firearms etc. are, as well as escorts and sex related businesses. So we are excluded why? Because we have escorts as clients which somehow makes us immoral and not to be dealt with.

Leaving aside the glaring hypocrisy that a percentage of any large businesses management are likely themselves to have used escort services at some time, there are many web designers who build adult related websites, most do it “under the table” that means it never gets into their portfolios because they do not want to be seen to be associated with the adult industry, but of course they cynically take the money it pays. We on the other hand are proud of what we do and our clients. The result is sometimes we have to pay the price when dealing with hypocritical and bigoted businesses and be looked down on or ignored by certain people in the web design sphere.

Luckily I have have never been one to conform and we have been fortunate to meet some really nice and genuine people in the escort business over the years.

Let me say it is not all doom and gloom, Mailchimp for example were open to discussions and while they will not allow adult content (which I understand given the potential spam implications) they were happy to talk things through and ultimately gave us an account.

It is incredible in 2020 that escorting is still seen as unacceptable, Google will not accept paid advertising from escort related businesses (again including us), banks will not open accounts for escort agencies, unless they hide somehow what they do. “Sex and Violence” is still a category yet most people consider sex an acceptable practice and violence not and the media still portray the escort industry as crack addicted street workers, which of course is the only image the general public sees and so the prejudice is perpetuated.

Is it really not time this was ended? Escorts like everyone, including web designers are mainly decent people just trying to make their way in the world, judge people on who they are and how they behave, not on what they or their clients do lawfully and without harming anyone.

There is a lot of talk about fairness and equality at the moment, it’s a shame it does not extend to the sex and adult industries.

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