The Case for Non-Mainstream Social Media

Or: How the Vienna Tourism Board learned to stop worrying and love OnlyFans.


by Dave Robson

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Imagine this: you have content to post. Beloved content. Content with hundreds of years of history behind it. Pedigree. Wealth. Class. But every time you post said content to sites like Facebook and Instagram, it gets banned. Because it violates community standards. Well, that’s basically what was happening to the Vienna tourism board.

So, what kind of deeply risqué art was the Vienna Tourism Board getting in trouble over? Oh, just stuff like nude paintings by Rubens, from whom we get the word rubenesque. Or Klimt’s Judith and the Head of Holofernes, which does, in fact, have an uncovered titty in it. Or the Venus of Willendorf, which is a 25,000 year old statue.

You see, social media has an AI problem, which we’ve written about before. It also has a human supervision problem and a nonsensical community standards problem. Go ahead and start posting art images featuring nudity to your Facebook page and you’ll see what we mean.

So, Vienna’s tourism board took their content to the one place they thought wouldn’t censor them: OnlyFans. The move has no doubt raised their profile a bit, what with the horny denizens of that site looking for art in between their e-girl bathwater. More importantly, by putting their content on OnlyFans, they got a bunch of press from major sites like the Guardian, NPR, and CNN. And us.

Sometimes, it feels like Facebook is the only game in town. And like you need to be on Twitter or you’ll never be heard. Or like all the kids are on TikTok and nowhere else.

But here’s the thing: there are lots of social networks out there. There are more than two hundred of consequence. Expand your net to include any platform and there are thousands. And most people are on more than seven. Facebook really isn’t the only game in town. You can be heard on sites besides Twitter. And if you jump on to TikTok without really getting it, you’ll look like an old weirdo pretending to be a teenager. As the tourism board in Vienna shows, it pays to think of social networks in non-conventional ways and to avoid some of the problems larger social sites have by going elsewhere.