Sex workers slam BAN of 'sexually explicit' content from OnlyFans

‘OnlyFans has been my lifeline’: Sex workers and models slam decision to BAN ‘sexually explicit’ content from October after pressure from financial backers

  • Users blasted the site after it announced the changes to be brought in October
  • Some threatened to move to other platforms while others thought about cash hit
  • OnlyFans has become go-to place for creators to post explicit photos and videos

Sex workers and models have slammed OnlyFans for banning ‘sexually explicit’ content after pressure from financial backers.

Furious users blasted the site after it announced the changes to be brought in from October.

Some threatened to move to other platforms while others said they were still figuring out how to deal with the cash hit.

OnlyFans, which has become the go-to place for creators to post explicit photos and videos, will implement the ban from October 1.

The move, announced Thursday, is part of the UK-based company’s changes ‘to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers’.

OnlyFans says creators can continue to share content with nudity ‘as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy’.

These prohibit specific explicit content such as rape, torture, revenge porn and sex trafficking.

British model Megan Barton Hanson is also on Only Fans. She previously expressed her delight in shooting racy content for the X-rated subscription platform, admitting it makes her feel ‘sassy and glamorous’

Last year, actress and rapper Cardi B announced that she had  joined OnlyFans

Sydney-based sex worker Tilly Lawless, who wrote Nothing But My Body, was among those blasting the changes today.

She told the Today programme: ‘Obviously I think it’s awful because it’s going to put a lot of sex workers out of income unless they can quickly pivot to another platform.

‘But I think it’s part of a wider issue which is like censorship of adult content and sex work online. Only Fans is not the first platform to do this.

‘Tumblr’s done it, AirBnb doesn’t allow sex workers, Instagram and Facebook don’t allow sex workers.

‘A lot of this is about the banking intuitions behind this. So for example Visa and Mastercard put a lot of pressure on these websites to clean up their act.

‘Mastercard actually has new guidelines coming in to effect in the next few months about adult content being purchasing.’

Sydney-based sex worker Tilly Lawless (pictured), who wrote Nothing But My Body, was among those blasting the changes today

Financial gain: Bella Thorne earned an incredible $1million in just one day from her subscription only OnlyFans account

Lottie Moss, the sister of supermodel Kate Moss, is also on OnlyFans, Above: An image which the star posted on her Instagram account

It has also become a safe haven for sex workers who could generate an income without meeting a client in person. However, the ban on pornography changes how these individuals conduct business and may even push them back to their ‘unsafe underground conditions’

She continued: ‘I can understand why they’re doing it from a financial perspective, they now have the platform they wanted.

‘They can kick sex workers off, they’ve got influencers on it, celebrities on it, they’ve got fitness people on it, they can make money that way.

‘They don’t need sex workers like they did when they started. But I can’t understand it from a wiping out trafficking perspective because getting rid of platforms… none of that actually stops people in dangerous scenarios.

‘It actually just makes it harder for sex workers who are using those platforms to work safely.’

She told how she started using the site to make money during lockdown last year and called it a ‘lifesaver’.

She said: ‘I used Only Fans during lockdown last year and obviously it was a lifesaver.

‘I’m a brothel worker, brothels were closed in lockdown and I felt incredibly grateful to be able to keep earning money.

‘But it was also always precarious for me because Only Fans has never been welcoming of sex workers who also do in person sex work.

‘So at any time my account could have been deleted or my money confiscated from me because I’m also an in person sex worker.

‘They don’t want to be tied to anything that can be seen as silver sitting or prostitution or anything that can seemed as sex trafficking.

‘So to separate themselves from that they don’t like creators who also off advertise in person services.’

The move, announced Thursday, is part of the UK-based company’s changes ‘to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers’

OnlyFans has 130million users, two million creators who have earned over $5billion since its inception in 2016, but is struggling to raise money from outside investors, according to an Axios report.

However, the company has not disclosed how much of its revenue is generated from pornography and adult content shared by creators.

But a spokesman said last night: ‘In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our platform, and the continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines.’

The bump in the road comes from the company’s reputation as an adult content website and has landed itself on the ‘no fly’ zone of many venture capital firms that have rules against investing in such apps and sites. 

OnlyFans was launched four years ago by Timothy Stokely who is, in his own words, a ‘British entrepreneur in the adult entertainment industry’.

It is a subscription-based site that allows creators to earn a living by sharing original videos on the platform.

Fans pay creators for access to their content via a monthly subscription, which can range from $4.99 to $49.99. OnlyFans takes a 20 percent cut of all payments.

The platform’s slick PR team insists it was set up for all creators, ‘from fitness, dancing, DJs to music’, on the premise that if fans of influencers were really fans, they’d pay a subscription fee to see the content their idols produced.

However, much of OnlyFans’ popularity stems from its adult content that has attracted millions and even celebrities.

It has also become a safe haven for sex workers who could generate an income without meeting a client in person.

However, the ban on pornography changes how these individuals conduct business and may even push them back to their ‘unsafe underground conditions,’  The National Center for Lesbian Rights shared in a tweet.

Thursday’s announcement comes just a day after OnlyFans launched a new ‘suitable for work’ app that allows people to share nudity-free content about topics such as fitness, wellness and cooking.

Called OFTV, the free app has a library of more than 800 videos, including ones with its biggest stars such as Mia Khalifa, Bella Thorne and Holly Madison.

There are also clips from chefs, Pilates instructors and podcasters, as well as meditation videos and instructions for how to make tasty cocktails.

OFTV is available for free on all major devices, including iOS, Amazon Fire and Roku. It was launched in January but only now has the company started to promote it.

‘OFTV provides a super convenient way for fans to watch content from favorite creators,’ Stokely told Bloomberg.

‘There’s no adult content on OFTV. Because it’s not being monetized and there’s no direct impact on creators’ earnings, we are able to be in the app store.’

OnlyFans is planning to use OFTV as a marketing tool to attract a different audience. It doesn’t plan to make any profit from it, at least to begin with, and the app won’t include advertising.

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