OnlyFans claims it has suspended plans to ban explicit sexual content after a protest from its creators.
Wednesday’s prepared statement by the subscription site stated that the ban was no longer necessary due to assurances from banking partners that OnlyFans can support all types of creators.
OnlyFans stated last Thursday that it will ban explicit content beginning Oct. 1. It blamed policies of banks, payment processors and other financial institutions for this policy change. The company stated in a message to users that the new rules were necessary to conform to the requirements of financial institutions and are the only means to ensure the long-term sustainability for OnlyFans.
OnlyFans is a popular place for sex workers to get paid in a safe way and for celebrities to interact with their fans.
The site’s sudden change last week upset many creators who threatened to move to a different website. Many sex workers joined OnlyFans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was when many venues closed down or became more hazardous. Some people have made thousands of dollars a month by using the site, which has proven to be extremely lucrative. OnlyFans claims it has 130 million users, and 2 million creators who collectively have earned $5 billion.
Lacy Lennon claims she makes thousands of dollars per month from OnlyFans, which charges $100 per minute for custom video, but is skeptical about the ban being reversed. “What is the safety of this?” What can we do to ensure it doesn’t happen again?
There are many other places where you can purchase porn and there have been many new sites that tried to lure the OnlyFans creators. After OnlyFans’ ban, Tyga promoted his plans for myystar, a platform that allows people to pay for porn. He said, “We are not limiting any content you create.”
Mattie McCoy said, “We’ve been involved in the adult industry 20 years and we’re tired seeing sex worker get bullied, exploited, and made rich by the platforms that make their money off them.” Naughty Popcorn, a Nevada-based company, is also creating a site that could be an alternative to OnlyFans.
OnlyFans had been criticised by advocates, claiming that it could lead to more dangerous street-based sexual work. They claim that removing a safe virtual space and cutting income make people more vulnerable to being trafficked.
“Not having an online outlet is going be a hinderance and harm to a lot people. Online is safer, especially for transgender people,” stated LaLa Zannell (ACLU’s trans justice campaign manager), who heads the rights group’s efforts to decriminalize sexual work.
Online porn is evolving amid concerns over sex trafficking, and the exploitation minors. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2018 and the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act were created to end online sex trading and lead to some spaces being closed down. But many sex workers say these changes have also made their jobs more dangerous.
OnlyFans was also criticized by elected officials. Over 100 members of Congress, including bipartisans, called for the Justice Department’s investigation of OnlyFans in August. They claimed that the site was a major marketplace for sexual videos featuring children. The anti-porn group National Center on Sexual Exploitation was cited in the letter as well as National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
According to their advocates, sex workers and their supporters claim that conservative and religious groups are working together to eliminate sex from the web under the pretense of fighting sex trafficking and child pornography.
“The reason they’re going after porn websites is because they’re ideologically against sexual content,” stated Cathy Reisenwitz (a writer and creator of OnlyFans), who earns between $1,600 to $3,500 a months on the site. “Trafficking is completely different from porn.”
OnlyFans CEO Tim Stokely blamed banks such as Bank of New York Mellon for the planned ban in an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday, saying they refuse the site’s business.
Adult-content businesses must navigate financial companies’ higher fees and demands than most retailers. Others won’t touch it. After allegations that Pornhub had underage sex and rape videos, Visa and Mastercard both stopped customers using their credit cards through Pornhub last year. American Express cards can’t be used for online pornography, however. Stripe will not process any adult content.
Phoenix Calida, an OnlyFans creator and a member of the nonprofit advocacy group Sex Workers Outreach Project USA, stated that while she wants to believe in optimism, she is very skeptical. “It appears that OF has changed without consulting sex workers. I have not seen any evidence that suggests that they understand why this is a problem.”
Calida hopes that the reversal will continue, but she added that “I am concerned that the company still seems to not think it needs to consult with sex workers prior to policy changes rather than responding to criticism afterwards.”
NCOSE, an anti-porn organization, stated that it “remains steadfastly in holding OnlyFans responsible for enabling abuse, exploitation” and called its age verification system “useless in practice.”