The content subscription site OnlyFans has reversed course on a recent policy change that would have banned explicit content from the platform.
While many of OnlyFans top earners include celebrities who share exclusive videos and photos with fans, it has also become a hotbed for homemade porn and virtual “sex work.”
It has been on our radar, meanwhile, because it has been reported that the platform has been easily used by many children who use fake IDs to evade the site’s 18+ policy and create explicit content. There have also been reported instances of sexual exploitation and trafficking linked to content produced on the site.
The UK-based website had professed last week to be under pressure from payment processors to do ban sexually explicit content, but after an uproar from pornographic content creators for whom the platform represents their only source of income, they announced this week the new policy will not be going forward after all.
In a Wednesday tweet, OnlyFans LTD. announced the change:
Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard.
We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change.
OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.
— OnlyFans (@OnlyFans) August 25, 2021
The mainstream media reacted to the news that OnlyFans was going to ban explicit content by sympathizing with the “sex workers” who would be disenfranchised by the policy change.
As the Media Research Council reported earlier this week, sites like Axios and NBC presented OnlyFans as a safe place for individuals to sell their bodies for cash, and that choking out their business could reap harm.
“OnlyFans has been a safe space for sex workers, allowing them to make a living without in-person interactions,” Axios explained.
Alana Evans, the president of the Adult Performers Actors Guild, told the outlet “I have models telling me they think they have no choice but to move into full-service sex work.”
One OnlyFans “model” told People magazine that the explicit content was rewarding not just for the six-figure salary it afforded, but that she’d fallen in love with “being liberated and being able to share myself in different ways. I started this for my own expression.’”
NBC News, meanwhile, discussed the disparate impact on LGBT “models,” writing, “Transgender people are more likely than the general population to participate in sex work for a variety of reasons. As a result, many LGBTQ sex workers said the community is disproportionately — and negatively — affected by OnlyFans’ policy change.”
The company had originally blamed pressure from financial providers who had “flagged and rejected” wire payments, which made it difficult to send payments for the lucrative content.
PornHub, the world’s largest pornography site, has also faced similar pressure from payment providers and certainly has yet to cease doing business, despite accusations of enabling and profiting from abuse porn and trafficking.
Earlier this week, we discussed the power that social pressure can have on a corporation when celebrating the news that OnlyFans was banning pornographic content.
The power of social pressure certainly goes both ways — and it’s heartbreaking that the pressure, in this case, has come from those earning an incredibly comfortable income by selling their bodies.
Those who are coerced or even forced into performing for OnlyFans subscribers, an instance which is incredibly difficult to mitigate, do not appear to have had a voice.
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