Thursday, August 19, 2021

OnlyFans to Ban the Adult Content That Made it Popular

Update: OnlyFans reversed its plans after an immense outcry.

OnlyFans is known for having people post their nudes as well as engaging in sexual acts with themselves or others. There are safe-for-work accounts that feature people working out while mostly clothed or doing yoga, but the thing that made OnlyFans popular and got it all its money is explicit sexual content/porn. Now, come October, OnlyFans is banning the very content that put it on the map.

I don't have an OnlyFans (people would pay me to put my clothes back on), so I don't have a dog in this fight. However, I observe that it is often sex workers who seem to help platforms become popular before it then turns on them. PayPal/Venmo made a lot of money off sex workers before it moved to try and ban it being used for that. Tumblr banned adult content too after it helped put it on the map. eBay didn't really rely on adult items for its income but didn't hesitate to get rid of them either.  A lot of this relates to financial services being hesitant to handle adult content income due to the stigma and legal complications that accompany sex work. 

You also have bad faith actors claiming this is to prevent trafficking or child porn. Trafficking and child porn are both terrible, but these people almost always want to ban any adult content, for adults, and do it under the guise of, "Protecting kids." These are grow-ass people doing adult things and other adults pay for it, let them. Making it harder for individual sex workers to make an income while pretending you're doing it to protect people is hypocritical and right now the biggest hypocrite is OnlyFans. It needed sex workers to get on the map and now it is throwing them under the bus. 

I have friends (male and female) who have engaged in sex work and they'll tell you these kinds of policies only force this stuff more underground and make it harder for people to engage in any kind of sex work safely. As someone who got an Undergraduate Degree in Health, Media, and Culture then a Graduate Degree in Public Health, I can tell you this deplatforming of sex workers will only hurt adults and not help any actually exploited people. There are other sites people can turn to for a similar, "Sell your nudes," model, but this really screws up a lot of people's incomes.

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