OnlyFans Scraps Plan To Ban Sexually Explicit Content Amid Backlash
OnlyFans is reversing course on its plan to ban sexually explicit content after less than a week.
The subscription-based video- and photo-sharing platform issued a statement on its social media accounts Tuesday that it would no longer impose the controversial policy revisions.
“We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change,” the statement read. “OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.”
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
OnlyFans, which was founded in 2016, has enjoyed a massive surge in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic. At present, the London-based site reportedly boasts more than 130 million registered users and over 2 million creators.
The company is best known for its adult-oriented subscription pages, though independent artists, musicians and fitness trainers also provide digital content and services on the site.
Wednesday’s announcement came days after OnlyFans revealed plans to do away with sexually explicit content this fall. In an email sent to HuffPost last week, the company said the change was meant “to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers” and “ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform.”
The news caused panic and uncertainty among many sex workers and adult content distributors, who had come to rely on OnlyFans as a steady source of income.
Stigma drives sex workers underground where workers are more likely to be brutalized by police and clients.
Sex work is work. It’s time to decriminalize.https://t.co/jEJim3ToiF
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 19, 2021
“Sex workers built this website. They’ve made a ton of money off us just to kick us off,” Tori, a sex worker and single mother of two, told HuffPost in an interview. “I feel used. And I feel for the people who, unlike me, don’t have a full-time job — who solely rely on OnlyFans. This is a slap in the face.”
In a Financial Times interview published Tuesday, OnlyFans CEO Tim Stokely addressed the backlash somewhat, suggesting that “unfair” treatment by banks was behind the initial plan to ban porn and that his company had “no choice” in the matter.
“We didn’t make this policy change to make it easier to find investors,” he explained, adding that he’d “absolutely” welcome sexually explicit content back to the site if banks changed their minds.