Twitter and OnlyFans Suspend Accounts for Leaking BDSM Video of City Council Candidate

A dominatrix told Motherboard that it's common for clients to request to be filmed, but that it is a severe violation of client privacy for this video to be released without consent.
June 21, 2021, 1:00pm
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Image: Getty Images

Twitter and OnlyFans have suspended accounts that non consensually shared a BDSM video of Zack Weiner, a 26-year-old running for city council in District 6 in New York City.

"Whoops, I didn't want anyone to see that, but here we are," Weiner said in a statement posted to Twitter. "I am not ashamed of the private video circulating of me on Twitter. This was a recreational activity that I did with my friend at the time, for fun."

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Twitter suspended an account that shared the video hours after it was posted. The account claimed it obtained the video from a dominatrix friend. The company told Motherboard that the account was suspended for violation of Twitter's rules on spam and platform manipulation. Notably, the account was not suspended for Twitter's non-consensual nudity policy, even though the video appears to be what is colloquially referred to online as "revenge porn." 

Twitter also told Motherboard that a New York Post tweet sharing the publication's story about the video, which features a still from the video clearly showing Weiner, was not in violation of Twitter's rules. Twitter famously blocked the publication from its platform last year because it shared an article about Hunter Biden that Twitter said contained hacked data.

An OnlyFans account with an identical username and profile picture to the one that posted the video to Twitter also shared and sold clips from the same video. OnlyFans only removed the video more than 24 hours after Motherboard reached out to the company for comment, saying it was in violation of OnlyFans’ Terms of Service. 

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Weiner did not respond to Motherboard's request for comment. 

Mistress Harley, a dominatrix, told Motherboard that it's common for clients to request to be filmed, but that it is a severe violation of client privacy for this video to be released without consent.

"Visa and Mastercard have stopped working with Pornhub over exactly these issues and legally speaking not only is it bad for the reputation of the dominatrix to release these videos without consent, but in many states it is a violation of revenge porn laws," Harley said. "I suspect that the dominatrix in question is probably new to the business and does not have a lawyer that would have advised her against this course of action."

Harley said that sometimes clients request to be filmed because they want to be able to look fondly back on their experience. "Think of it like a Bar Mitzvah video where the only person that might ever watch it again is the client," Harley said.

Some people fetishize being exposed in this manner, which is why Harley runs LoserHallofShame.com, a website where men pay to have their images and videos shared with the public.

Harley said that it's so common for clients to request this, she has a section on her website explaining that clients that want to be filmed have to sign a model release form and share a picture of their ID. 

Weiner's situation is one that is becoming increasingly common as a generation of people who grew up with the internet are getting into politics. In 2018, opponents of Eric Brakey, who won the Maine Republican nomination for US Senate, dug up a video of him doing the Harlem Shake in Speedos. 

At the time, Motherboard wrote:

We’re on the cusp of a major generational shift in politics: The people running for office in the coming years are the first generation to be extremely online for most of their lives. People who’ve never known a time before the internet—yes, Millennials—are now running for political office, and that means their online histories are on display and preserved in a way no previous generation of politicians ever had to contend with.

As long as these online histories don't reveal the kind of bad judgment and character that can harm others (for example, audio of the candidate openly talking about sexually assaulting women) none of that should matter. We all have mistakes filed away online, after all. It’s where we grew up, and part of growing up is making a bunch of mistakes.

As Weiner himself said in his statement, "Like many young people, I have grown into a world where some of our most private moments have been documented online. While a few loud voices on Twitter might chastise me for the video, most people see the video for what it is: a distraction." 

"I encourage everyone to explore their sexuality safely but this is why it is very important for clients to research who they are interacting with," Harley said. "Personally I do not feel that Zack should suffer any negative repercussions out of his private life being released to the public, his right to privacy was violated and if anything he is the victim in this story."