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OnlyFans to Prohibit “Sexually Explicit Content” Starting in October

The premium social networking platform synonymous for its adult content is getting out of the adult content business

OnlyFans banning porn
OnlyFans, photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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    Update – August 25th: OnlyFans has reversed course and dropped plans to ban pornography and other sexually explicit material.

    OnlyFans, the premium social networking platform synonymous with adult content, is getting out of the adult content business. In a move akin to Domino’s announcing it’s no longer selling pizza, OnlyFans said on Thursday that it will “prohibit users from posting any sexually explicit conduct, starting in October.”

    According to Bloomberg, OnlyFans’ policy change stems from “mounting pressure from banking partners and payment providers.”

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    “In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our platform, and the continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines,” the company said in a statement.

    OnlyFans says creators will still be allowed to post nude photos and videos “as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy.” It’s not clear what OnlyFans considers the line between “nude photos and videos” and “sexually explicit content,” but the company promises to share “more details in the coming days.”

    “OnlyFans remains committed to the highest levels of safety and content moderation of any social platform,” the company added. “All creators are verified prior to being able to upload any content to OnlyFans, and all uploaded content is checked by automated systems and human moderators.”

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    This is not the first time a company has moved to restrict explicit content once it grew to a certain size. In 2017, Patreon tightened its rules around adult content, allowing artistic depictions of nudity (the kind of thing you might find in an R-rated movie) but pushing sex workers off the site. Many of them turned to OnlyFans, which had launched the year before.

    In a world where pornography is both freely available and ubiquitous, OnlyFans distinguished itself by putting content creators safely in the driver’s seat. This is in contrast to in-person sex work — according to some sources, the average prostitute is physically attacked once a month — and on-set work, where the (mostly men) who own the camera equipment maintain power over their costars. Many adult film actors have alleged that some consensual shoots have turned into rape, as evidenced by the accusations against James Deen, who reportedly ignored agreed-upon boundaries once the cameras were rolling. With OnlyFans, as with Patreon before it, the content creator sets their own limits.

    In addition to sex workers, OnlyFans also hosts influencers and artists happy for another income stream. Musicians such as Cardi B, Trey Songz, Bhad Bhabie, Tyga, and more have flocked to the site, with some doing little more than reposting their Instagram feeds, and others leaving little to the imagination. But the intersection of the rich and famous and OnlyFans hasn’t always been without controversy. Last year, Bella Thorne made $1 million on her first day, in part because of a post — that she claimed was fake — promising a nude photo. When no such content appeared, so many users demanded a refund that the site was forced to change its policies.

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    It’s not clear what’s next for OnlyFans, and the future of many sex workers is currently in doubt. But one thing is certain: the demand for explicit content isn’t going away, and some other platform will emerge to supply it.

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