What is OnlyFans?
Only fans is a content subscription service based in London that enables creators to get paid for posting videos and photos for fans.
The company on Thursday, 19th August 2021 released a statement to its creators saying that it planned to ban “content containing sexually explicit conduct” in October. However, the website will still allow nudity consistent with its “acceptable use policy.”
Reasons for banning sexually explicit content
Since OnlyFans has sexually explicit content, it is only available on the web, with no presence on mobile app platforms including iOS and Android. Explicit content has been severally highlighted as one of the reasons OnlyFans has struggled to find outside investors.
It is more than likely that the likes of Apple and Google are unwilling to look past the pornography issue, despite OnlyFans commanding a large user base of around 130 millionon users.
The company followed up on the earlier notice, citing the need to ensure “the long-term sustainability of the platform” as one of the key reasons for the radical changes in its stance regarding the sexually explicit content found on the website. OnlyFans added that the changes are to comply with the requests of their banking partners and payout providers.
An example of payout providers putting pressure on website owners can be seen when in December 2020, Mastercard, Visa and Discover blocked customers from using their credit cards to make payments on Pornhub after the New York Times reported on videos of alleged child abuse and non-consensual acts on the platform.
Who uses OnlyFans?
You might mistakenly think that OnlyFans is only used by sex workers, but all sorts of content creators have made it their home, including models, actors, physical fitness experts and other influencers.
The content creators can either directly receive money from fans on a monthly basis or from tips and the pay-per-view feature. An example of celebrities making a fortune on the platform is actress Bella Thorne, who claimed to make 2 million dollars in a single week.
Other famous content creators on the platform include Cardi B, Blac Chyna, Bhad Bhabie, Tyga and Amber Rose.
New policies regarding publishing content on OnlyFans
Do not upload, post display or publish content on OnlyFans that;
- Shows, promotes, advertises or refers to “sexually explicit conduct”, which means:
- actual or simulated sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, between persons of any sex;
- actual or simulated masturbation;
- any exhibition of the anus or genitals of any person which is extreme or offensive;
- actual or simulated material depicting bodily fluids commonly secreted during sexual conduct;
- All existing content that shows, promotes, advertises or refers to “sexually explicit conduct” (which has the meaning given to it in section 5(b) of this Policy) must be removed before December 1, 2021, or by any other date which we communicate to Users.
Much like Tumblr which made a similar move in 2018, by banning sexually explicit content, the decision by OnlyFans has been met with outrage by sex workers who made the platform popular in the first place. How OnlyFans rides this wave will be fascinating to see in the coming months, but I personally see them going in the red before the end of the year.