OnlyFans has become one of the latest tech companies to implement a block on users in Russia, following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
The move will result in a loss of income for many Russian porn creators using the platform, the success of which was built on individual creators charging users for explicit content. Rather than blocking users in Russia being a signifier of corporate moral outrage at Putin’s warmongering, OnlyFans said the policy was implemented due to war-related payment logistics.
The platform has, however, given its logo a colour update to the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag. OnlyFans blocked Russian creators from the platform in February, also due to payment logistics, but was able to lift the block shortly afterwards.
A spokesperson for the platform said that because of a “further tightening of payment restrictions to and from Russia”, OnlyFans could “no longer properly serve” creators based in Russia.
The company told Motherboard that it was going to “temporarily pause accounts” that received payments in Russia.
With many governments imposing drastic sanctions on Russia due to its ongoing war against Ukraine, many global companies have chosen to pull out of Russia in solidarity with Ukraine. Visa and Mastercard are among the financial firms and organizations to have done so, having a knock-on effect on OnlyFans payments.
The new Russia-based creator block once more shows how OnlyFans’ operations are heavily influenced by rules set by global financial organizations, such as Mastercard, that the platform manages payments through. OnlyFans recently brought in a new CEO and is attempting to move on from a period of creator distrust in 2021, when it announced a ban on explicit content then quickly reversed the decision.
As was the case for the Russia-based creator block, OnlyFans said that the swiftly-reversed explicit content ban was made to bring it in line with rules from companies such as Mastercard, which are known for conservative attitudes to dealing with companies related to porn and sex.
Although OnlyFans is now a no-go for many Russian porn creators, at least temporarily, some have been using other porn-friendly platforms to show their support for Ukraine during the war.
Since the invasion both Ukrainian and Russian porn creators have been posting pro-Ukraine messages on Pornhub, and using the porn site to spread information about the conflict.
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