OnlyFans to Ban the ‘Sexually Explicit Content’ That Made It Rich

The company said it will start banning “sexually explicit content” in October.
August 19, 2021, 6:33pm
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OnlyFans will prohibit "sexually explicit content" starting in October, according to a report released Thursday. 

Nude photos and videos will still be allowed, "provided they’re consistent with OnlyFans’ policy," the company told Bloomberg

“In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our platform, and the [sic] continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines,” OnlyFans told Bloomberg. The decision was made because of pressure from banking partners and payment processors. 

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This news follows a report from Axios that claims leaked documents reveal OnlyFans' struggle to draw investors, despite being on track to make $12.5 billion in gross value next year.  

OnlyFans has more than 130 million users, and arguably most of them—and especially the most lucrative—are adult content creators. OnlyFans takes 20 percent commission from creators' earnings. The company's wealth is built on the work it plans to start prohibiting in October. 

A spokesperson told Motherboard in a statement:

“Effective 1 October, 2021, OnlyFans will prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually-explicit conduct. 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. Creators will continue to be allowed to post content containing nudity as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy. These changes are to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers. We will be sharing more details in the coming days and we will actively support and guide our creators through this change in content guidelines.”

OnlyFans did not answer what that policy will look like in October. As of now, the terms of use for posting to OnlyFans as an adult creator are already constantly shifting, but they don't forbid having sex with another person or masturbation on-camera.

Are you an OnlyFans content creator who will be affected by these new guidelines, or someone with inside knowledge of this decision? We’d love to hear from you. Email samantha.cole@vice.com, DM @samleecole on Twitter, or use encrypted email: samleecole@protonmail.ch

OnlyFans is far from the only platform where adult content creators can sell videos and images. Pornhub, ManyVids, and FanCentro are just some of the other internet platforms that offer similar services. However, OnlyFans' brand recognition has exploded in popularity over the pandemic, on the backs of these adult content creators, who’ll have to rebuild these audiences on other platforms.

Last week, Rep. Ann Wagner demanded that the DOJ investigate OnlyFans for allegations of child sexual abuse materials; in December 2020, Pornhub's payment processors pulled service from the platform following similar allegations from anti-trafficking ministries that want to abolish sex work, a move that sex workers said put them at more risk for financial precarity than ever. OnlyFans saw a massive spike in users in the last year and a half due to the pandemic, when many people, especially sex workers who lost in-person work, turned to it for income.