OnlyFans has performed a screeching U-turn, reversing its ban on explicit content. But the farce has eroded trust in the site among many sex workers relying on it to earn a living.
On August 19 it was revealed that the pay-for-creator-content site would ban “sexually-explicit conduct”, following toughened rules from credit card companies and banks regarding payments for sexual content, set to kick in on October 1.
With much of OnlyFans’ success built on sex workers posting explicit content, this would have cut off a vital source of income for many creators. The site has over 130 million users and two million content creators, with porn its most popular category.
Days after the new policy announcement, following a huge backlash from creators, OnlyFans said it had “suspended” the ban. It claimed that “banking partners” had given the company assurances that the site would be able to support “all kinds of creators”.
Announcing the suspension of the ban, OnlyFans wrote: “Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard… OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.”
A trust lost
Many sex content creators had already slammed OnlyFans for the ban and planned migrations to rival sites.
OnlyFans creator N大,who makes gay porn in Taiwan, tweeted that he was concerned that the site had used the word “suspended” with regard to the ban. He wrote that his “heart was broken already” and that he would continue to work on developing content on alternative platforms. “Everyone please have your backup options”, he warned.
“Do you honestly think that this is going to bring everyone back? Because you’re wrong. If you are thinking about returning to OnyFans, think hard about that. They took our hard work, built their notoriety, and then threw us to the curb,” another creator, Seraphina, tweeted at OnlyFans:
Cam performer Hannah-James tweeted: “You can apologise, thank us, welcome us back all you want, but we have seen what you’re willing and capable of doing. It’s sad and scary and lacks human empathy. You need us as a whole more than we need you. Remember we are humans.”
Ezada Sinn, another creator, wrote: “How can we trust [that] you are [a] reliable partner when you change your politics from one day to another. Do you realize how much we invest in our business? Do you think we are willing to believe you when we don’t know when you will change your mind again or close accounts without notice?”
Among the swathe of condemnation for the lack of trust the company’s reverse-ferret caused, there were celebrations that the ban had been lifted. A creator named Kirbee announced a sale for returning OnlyFans subscribers, writing: “Hurry before they decide they don’t like us again.”
While OnlyFans blamed financial organisations for the since-reversed explicit content ban, there were suspicions that it may have been influenced by the company struggling to find investors. Sources told Axios that some potential investors were holding back from being involved in the site due to it hosting porn.