OnlyFans to Ban Sexually Explicit Content

Hand holding a phone with OnlyFans login screen with a OnlyFans logo in the background

Update 26 August 2021: OnlyFans has gone back on its decision to ban pornographic content. It released a statement saying that it has “secured assurances necessary to support” its diverse creator community, and has suspended its intended policy change. The platform added that it stands for inclusion, and will “continue to provide a home for all creators.”

Content sharing platform OnlyFans announced that it will ban content containing sexually explicit conduct starting October this year. Pressure from its banking partners and payout providers has led to this decision, which many say will negatively affect the sex work industry. Content containing nudity will still be allowed, as long as it adheres to OnlyFans’ “Acceptable Use Policy,” the company 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,” OnlyFans said.

Currently, OnlyFans says it has over 130 million users.

Premier Platform for Adult Content Creators

OnlyFans is a content-sharing platform where creators share content with their paying fanbase. The platform is very popular with creators in the adult industry. In fact, pornography has grown to be the platform’s most popular type of content.

The site became even more popular during the pandemic when on-ground operations in the adult industry stuttered to a halt.

The platform is an invaluable asset for creators, as they can benefit directly from the content they create. Creators receive payment directly from their fans and are not dependent on traditional adult industry companies and producers.

The company recently debuted its safe for work alternative app called OFTV. The company insists that it’s more than just a site for sex workers. In the past year, celebrities such as Cardi B and Bella Thorne have created accounts on the platform.

OnlyFans is also popular among fitness enthusiasts, musicians, and chefs. However, adult content remains its most popular category.

Pressure From Banking Partners and Payout Providers

According to OnlyFans, the pressure to make this change comes from its banking partners. Furthermore, the platform said that it decided to evolve its content guidelines to ensure its long-term sustainability.

Tristan West, a leading adult content creator on the site, said that the move “is going to shatter a lot of people’s main source of income, the foundation of their entire business.”

West also said that while it “isn’t the end of the world, it is a huge setback.” He noted that, though OnlyFans was the top platform for sex work, it is not the only one. Other platforms are finding ways to monetize content as well, such as paid follows on Twitter and direct monetization opportunities on Pornhub.

The news has led many to raise questions regarding OnlyFans’ ability to survive the transition as the adult content category is the site’s most lucrative segment.

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Technology policy researcher
Prateek is a technology policy researcher with a background in law. His areas of interest include data protection, privacy, digital currencies, and digital literacy. Outside of his research interests, Prateek is an avid reader and is engaged in projects on sustainable farming practices in India.