Sex Work and Social Media: Online Advocacy Strategies

  • Emma E. Duke
  • Kathleen C. Sitter University of Calgary
  • Nicole Boggan


Online communication continues to provide opportunities to connect, mobilize and disseminate information amongst direct service organizations. While the use of social media among non-profits continues to expand, there is a paucity of research that documents the extent to which online channels – particularly social media – are adopted and used amongst organizations that support sex workers. Online advocacy efforts have grown over the last decade, with sex workers and non-profit organizations at the forefront. This article evaluates the presence and social media strategies amongst organizations providing direct services for sex workers in Canada. Eighty-seven organizations operating in Canada were examined to assess both the types of social media channels used, and the online strategies employed. Results indicate there is a propensity for agencies to engage in multiple social media platforms with spaces for service users to post information in lieu of static sites that predominantly support one-way communication. Recommendations and best practices include integrating postings across platforms for efficiency, developing and maintaining safe spaces online, and focusing on channels that support multilogue communication. 

            Keywords:  Sex work, social media, knowledge