Yesterday, OnlyFans announced that the platform will begin prohibiting sexually explicit content on its site, starting in October. According to Bloomberg, creators will still be allowed to post nude photos and videos, so long as they meet OnlyFans’ new policy guidelines (whatever that means, it is still all very unclear). In short, the platform is making a hard pivot toward supporting mainstream creators like musicians, chefs, influencers, and fitness instructors, and moving away from the type of creators who inarguably are responsible for people even knowing what OnlyFans is in the first place — sex workers.
The changes are apparently being made because of policy changes from credit card payment processors and the hurdles that the platform is facing in attracting new investors and banking partners to raise funding at a valuation of more than $1 billion. Of course, that valuation also came because they provided a safe haven for sex work — they certainly didn’t blow up because of chefs teaching people how to cook steak. Still, big brands being paranoid about partnering with a platform that traffics in any sort of clear pornography is clearly still a thing in 2021, regardless of how accepted sex work seems.
the real villains here are the banks/credit card processors. been a lot of pressure on visa & mastercard etc from evangelical anti porn groups to stop providing their services to porn companies and i know onlyfans was on their hit list
— laura lux 🦖🪐 (@DarthLux) August 19, 2021
According to Fast Company, to date OnlyFans currently has over 120 million users and 1 million creators who have collectively earned more than $3 billion. Forbes puts the company’s revenue $375 million in 2020, thanks to a 20% revenue share with creators. Naturally, people had some thoughts
Onlyfans catered their platform almost exclusively to sex workers, built their wealth and popularity off the backs of sex workers, and within only a year ditched the creators who made their empire so they can cater to banks. Even if you don’t use the site you should be pissed.
— Savvy☭ (@sleepisocialist) August 19, 2021
onlyfans is just another example of how these large platforms use sex workers to build their audience then pull support once they no longer deem them beneficial.
— meowri (@JennaLynnMeowri) August 19, 2021
the new OnlyFans model is genius because it’s like YouTube but you have to pay for it and people love paying for things they already have
— Eddy Burback (@eddyburback) August 19, 2021
what platform is the next move? who needs sex workers to blow it up? we need a platform owned by sex workers at this point.
— LTP (@lenatheplug) August 19, 2021
The problem with OF is the only people being effected is SW, and not only are they effected but being directly attacked. You can still post nudity, just not porn. While i won’t be effected shame on OF for the direction they’re going.
— pouty girl (@CorinnaKopf) August 19, 2021
OnlyFans’ recent decision came as news to the many million sex workers on the platform, and sex workers are currently in a scramble figuring out what to do next and where to go from here. In an emailed press release, Dominic Ford, the founder of JustForFans, one of OnlyFans’ competitors, was quick to assure sex workers that there was still a platform willing to offer them support.
The adult industry is sadly used to companies cutting their teeth on the adult market and then abandoning them once they reach critical mass. JustFor.fans was founded and built by and for sex workers and its staff is 100% comprised of sex workers and people who have been in the porn industry for many, many years. We are a porn site. That will never change and we have no interest in “mainstreaming.”
With OnlyFans turning into more of a… well, traditional fan site, it won’t be a shock if JustForFans and others race to pick up the slack.