Starting 1 October 2021, OnlyFans will stop its creators from posting sexually explicit material on its platform, which sex workers have used to sell mature content for a living.
"In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines," OnlyFans said.
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The company stated that users will still be allowed to share nude photos and videos on the site assuming that they follow OnlyFans’ policy.
Amid the pandemic, the content subscription service became more popular as sex workers, musicians and internet personalities use the site to give fans exclusive access to photos, videos and other media. So far, OnlyFans has over 130 million users.
Recently, the company has been promoting its safe for work (SFW) platform called OFTV, which is a content library containing fitness, cooking and lifestyle videos from OnlyFans creators. Aside from that, OnlyFans has been continuing a "Rising Stars" initiative that highlights the work of SFW influencers like songwriters, stylists and photographers, among others.
Aiming to earn a valuation of more than US$1 billion (over S$1.36 billion), OnlyFans is straying away from its adult image in order to attract investors. According to Axios, the proliferation of sexual material on the site is hindering the company from gaining investments. This is because some venture capitalist firms are unable to invest in mature content due to limited partnership agreements.
Many investors are also worried about the possibility of minors setting up subscription accounts even though OnlyFans assured that there are preventions in place for that. On the other hand, there are some investors who believe that the company’s reputation could spoil the chances of getting brand partners.
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OnlyFan’s situation reminded people of Tumblr’s moves on 17 December 2018. Back then, the blogging platform banned all adult content after the Tumblr iOS app was removed from the App Store due to Tumblr’s failure to keep child pornography from being spread on the site. This happened despite the platform using a filtering system that detects child sexual abuse material and prevents them from being posted. As a result, Tumblr experienced a 29% drop in monthly page views from December 2018 to February 2019.
Online users were not happy about the OnlyFans adult content ban, with Erica Joy Baker — the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Chief Technology Officer — emphasising the impact of sex workers on platforms’ revenue streams.
A verified Twitter account dedicated to making the history of sex work accessible to the public detailed the dangers the ban would bring to sex workers.
On the other hand, "Star Trek" actor and New York Times Bestselling Author George Takei poked fun at OnlyFans’ decision.
Written by Sophia Lopez