OnlyFans reverses explicit content ban after outcry
OnlyFans says it has suspended a plan to ban sexually explicit content following an outcry from its creators and advocates for sex workers.
In a prepared statement Wednesday, the subscription site said that the planned ban was “no longer required due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators” and declined to answer further questions.
OnlyFans had said last Thursday that it would ban explicit content starting October 1, blaming policies of banks and payment processors for the policy change. “The new rules are necessary to comply with the requirements of these financial institutions and are the only way to help ensure the long-term sustainability of OnlyFans,” the company said in a message to users last week.
OnlyFans has become famous as a place where sex workers can get paid in a safer way, as well as a space for celebrities to interact with fans.
Last week’s abrupt change upset the site’s creators, many of whom threatened to move to another website. A lot of sex workers joined OnlyFans during the pandemic when in-person venues shut down or became more dangerous because of COVID-19. The site has been tremendously lucrative for some people, allowing them to earn thousands every month. OnlyFans says it has 130 million users and 2 million creators who have collectively earned US$5 billion.
Its chief executive officer Tim Stokely blamed banks such as Bank of New York Mellon for the planned ban in an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday, saying they refuse the site’s business.
Adult-content companies have to navigate higher fees and requirements from financial companies beyond what most retailers encounter; others won’t touch it. Last year, Mastercard and Visa began blocking customers from using credit cards on Pornhub after accusations that the site had videos of rape and underage sex. American Express cards, meanwhile, can’t be used on online pornography. Stripe won’t process adult content.