OnlyFans has abandoned plans to block “sexually explicit” content following outcry from content creators and users.
Under OnlyFans’ business model, creators earn money from users who subscribe to their content — such as videos showing live demonstrations, performer rants about various topics, or pornographic content, including nude photos and videos.
But on Aug. 20, OnlyFans abruptly announced that it would be banning “any content containing sexually-explicit conduct” from Oct. 1, citing pressure from banking partners and payment providers.
The ban would have prohibited “actual or simulated sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, between persons of any sex.”
LGBTQ creators decried the move, with sex workers and adult performers noting that OnlyFans had become a vital — and sometimes primary — source of income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The backlash was so severe that, less than a week later, OnlyFans has reversed course, announcing that the ban on sexually explicit content had been suspended.
“Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard,” OnlyFans tweeted Wednesday. “We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change.”
They added: “OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.”
Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard.
We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change.
OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.
— OnlyFans (@OnlyFans) August 25, 2021
While OnlyFans has been praised for abandoning its plans to ban sexually explicit content, it has also been heavily criticized for the impact the original announcement had on creators’ income.
Multiple Twitter users replied to OnlyFans noting that they had lost subscribers after the original ban was announced, with one person suggesting the platform remove the fee it charges creators to account for any lost income.
Others noted that OnlyFans had “suspended” its planned policy change — not revoked the plan entirely.
OnlyFans earns its revenue by taking a 20% cut of all payments made on the platform. According to Bloomberg News, the company handled more than $2 billion in sales last year, and is currently on pace to more than double that figure this year.
In an interview this week, OnlyFans’ founder Tim Stokely blamed banks and payment processors for the original policy change.
Speaking to the Financial Times, he accused JPMorgan Chase of being “particularly aggressive in closing accounts of sex workers or… any business that supports sex workers.” (JPMorgan Chase told BBC News it had “no such policy.”)
Stokely also accused BNY Mellon of rejecting funds transfers, as well as Metro Bank, which closed OnlyFans’ accounts in 2019.
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