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OnlyFans to Ban Sexually Explicit Content Over Investor Concerns

By Andrea Villar | Thu, 08/19/2021 - 16:02

Did OnlyFans kill its business model? Some signs suggest so. 

Following concerns from bankers and investors, the platform announced in a statement that it will censor all "sexually explicit" content as of October 1. The London-based company also stated it is looking to broaden its audience beyond adult content, offering photos and videos of cooking or yoga. “We remain dedicated to our community of 130 million users and over 2 million creators that have earned over US$5 billion on our platform,” added OnlyFans. The platform also made it clear that it will still allow nudity within an “acceptable use policy” that is still being defined and said it will provide more details of the new policy in the coming days.

Founded in 2016, OnlyFans was among the platforms that boomed in popularity throughout the pandemic, largely due to the adult content posted by a diverse range of creators, including porn stars and sex workers. However, in its attempt to diversify its business, the platform recently launched a "fit-for-work," channel that features videos focused on areas like as fitness, music or cooking. One of the reasons behind OnlyFans' policy change comes after Pornhub made a similar move following pressure from payment processors like Mastercard and Visa, which cut ties with the platform over complaints about illegal content posted on the site, including videos about pedophilia, rape or posted without the consent of those who appeared in them.

In spite of the above, OnlyFans' decision has already stirred displeasure among its content creators, for whom the service became a way to generate revenue. “The interpretation from those in the sex work business is that they are basically kicking you off the platform. A lot of independent creators rely on OnlyFans, and while we are supposed to diversify revenue streams, it is still a shock when a platform like this goes down,” content creator Erica Cherry told Bloomberg. Closing this source of income for sex workers will force this already vulnerable sector to rely on traditional ways to compensate for their income, often jeopardizing their livelihoods, added online sex worker and Co-Chair of the Adult Industry Laborers and Artists Association Mary Moody.

In Mexico, more than 39 percent of women and nearly 38 percent of men reported increased use of video calling and sexting during the pandemic, a Statista study revealed. According to Comscore, Mexicans doubled their unique visits to OnlyFans from March to September 2020

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Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst