How r/OnlyFans Became Literally About Fans Only

How copyright law made Reddit's OnlyFans forum about literal fans, not nudes.
April 13, 2021, 1:00pm
A fan. Getty Images
Getty Images

A Redditor adopted a banned subreddit of stolen OnlyFans content and converted it into a place only for fans, as in, the kind that blow air. Literally, a fan club for fans. Fan boats, ceiling fans, warehouse fans, antique fans, PC fans—all fan content is welcome, as long as they're safe for work.

"It's all about size," one post says. "Sexy and giving," says another, of a desk fan at a blood bank. 

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Reddit is full of porn. A lot of it's images and videos uploaded by the models themselves, but a ton of it's also stolen from subscription platforms like OnlyFans; stolen porn is a constant headache for some performers who have to issue these requests for subreddits to take down their content. Subscribers to a subreddit for nudes, r/OnlyFans, posted so much stolen porn that Reddit shut the community down for having too many Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests. 

Nerooooooo, the new mod of r/OnlyFans who's been rehabilitating the subreddit for about eight months, told me he found it by accident. He saw someone mention it in a thread elsewhere on Reddit, and when he clicked through to check it out, he ran into the notice that Reddit had banned the forum for repeated DMCA requests—something that's gotten NSFW subreddits banned before. 

"I didn't pay too much attention at the time and a few days passed until I realized that dead or banned subreddits can be 'adopted' by requesting their ownership in /r/redditrequest," he said. "Then came the glorious idea of turning the subreddit into nothing but exactly what its name suggested. A subreddit only for fans." 

He applied, and received a notification that the sub was his a few hours later. "My eyes were sparkling with joy," he wrote in an introduction post announcing his ownership. "I was grateful."

The process of converting r/OnlyFans to a SFW subreddit for a different kind of fan was a bit tedious, he said; he and some friends had to delete a lot of bot-spam, and a few hundred subscribers left. From there, he tried to build interest by crossposting threads from r/OnlyFans to others and making some memes to get it started. Reddit chose it as the featured subreddit of the day, he said, and the official platform Twitter account tweeted about it. 

"People seem to be really active and very interested in the subreddit," he said. "The name of the sub is what actually contributes to the growth the most, as it’s only after people click on the subreddit hyperlink they realize what it’s really about. And the name is currently shared a lot around reddit. It’s also kind of funny when you think about the kind of expectations people have when they search for 'onlyfans' on Reddit, and what they actually find when they enter the sub." People also just really like puns—r/superbowl and r/tightpussy are others that come to mind.

I asked Nerooooooo whether he was a fan enthusiast himself—an appreciator of the finer fans in life. He said he wasn't before this project started. "This may have changed a bit during the last 8 months though."