OnlyFans, a subscription service primarily known for content made by sex workers, has announced a ban on ‘pornography’ on the platform.
The decision has been met with ire from both sex workers and external commentators, given the reliance of thousands of people on OnlyFans for a reliable income.
OnlyFans has reportedly decided to ban sexually explicit material after pressure from banks and payment processors. However, it will still allow nudity.
Taylor Lorenz and Alyssa Lukpay, reporters for The New York Times, spoke to content creators who used the platform about the consequences this ban will have.
One said, “people are not going to be able to make ends meets.”
A 22 year old creator in New York, who began making content during the pandemic, explained that “OnlyFans is how I pay my rent. I feed myself from this.” He has been using his income from the plaform to pay off his student loans.
Other sex workers have taken to Twitter to express their frustration and anger at the platform’s decision.
onlyfans is banning all sexually explicit content from their platform.
they've also made billions off of the backs of sex workers.
as someone who does sex work on OF, i'm angry for every creator that has relied on OF for an income just to be thrown out. this is so fucked up.
— jasmine 🍚 (@jasminericegirl) August 19, 2021
Part of the reason why OnlyFans has been so popular is that it is often safer than other forms of sex work, or the porn industry. Creators, though, must pay the platform 20 per cent of their income.
A statement from the company given to Bloomberg said: “In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our platform, and continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines.”
Prior to this decision, OnlyFans has come under pressure for various reasons. For example, it introduced a new app featuring top content creators – but no nudity, despite sex work being the platform’s most notable output.
Earlier this August, US congresswoman Ann Wagner began a bipartisan colaition calling for the platform to be investigated by the Department of Justice over concerns it was being used for underage content.
Whether OnlyFans will be able to survive the change is unclear, as a number of journalists, comedians and commentators have expressed solidarity with OnlyFans creators online.
Does OnlyFans genuinely think it’s going to have any value without sex workers like….
— michaela okland (@MichaelaOkla) August 19, 2021
Onlyfans catered their platform almost exclusively to sex workers, built their wealth and popularity off the backs of sex workers, and within only a year ditched the creators who made their empire so they can cater to banks. Even if you don’t use the site you should be pissed.
— Savvy☭ (@sleepisocialist) August 19, 2021
Comedians: I urge you if you want to write an “only fans” joke and tweet it, conjure in your head the approximate amount of likes that the tweet would get, then send whatever dollar amount that is to a sex worker instead of tweeting it
— spike ✡ (@spikeeinbinder) August 19, 2021
ONLY FANS CREATED A SAFE SPACE FOR SEX WORKERS AND JUST CHOSE TO PUT THEM IN DANGER AGAIN
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) August 19, 2021
onlyfans jokes are in poor taste imo when people are seeing their livelihoods cut off with little notice and will potentially be pushed into riskier forms of sex work (especially as ways to check client safety have been removed, like backpage, due to 'anti trafficking' laws)
— Robin Craig (@robin__craig) August 19, 2021
Imagine having six weeks notice that your main way of earning is going to just… stop existing. And sex workers on OnlyFans have been dealing with overnight changes pretty much constantly since celebrities started using it last summer
— Sarah Manavis (@sarahmanavis) August 19, 2021
OnlyFans banning sex workers after using them to make a fortune is, ironically, a dick move.
I look forward to their new content “POV: I Quietly Read The Bible (With My Shirt ON)” and “Shareholder Looks Up ‘Exploitation’ In Dictionary.”
— Mr John Robertson twitch.tv/robbotron (@Robbotron) August 19, 2021
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