The OnlyFans platform, which enables content creators to offer paid subscriptions to images, videos and other media, has announced it is banning the publishing of sexually explicit material.
The drastic change, which is sure to affect the livelihoods of many of the platform’s user base who classify themselves as sex workers, comes as the company comes under pressure from financial institutions it relies upon to process payments.
The company still plans to enable users to post nude images and videos to subscribers, but the pornography will be banned from October 1. Instead, OnlyFans wants to rebrand as a place for musicians, chefs and those with other talents.
“In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our platform, and continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines,” OnlyFans said in a statement following a report from Reuters.
The company also said it plans to “actively support and guide our creators through this change in content guidelines.” It will share more details on the changing in content guidelines in the coming days.
The decision leaves many sex workers, who’ve relied on OnlyFans as a safe and secure space to carry out their full-time or part-time work, without a platform.
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Many reports throughout the pandemic focused on how people turned to OnlyFans as a way to pay their rent and bills during lockdowns. However, such is the stigma that still surrounds sex work, OnlyFans has chosen to abandon the users that brought it to prominence and a $1 billion valuation. Many social media users are accusing the company of betrayal.
Whether a different NSW platform will rise in the absence and allow those frozen out by the changes to continue to operate, remains to be seen, but there are likely to be some pretty worried content creators out there right now.