OnlyFans: Safe for Subscription-Based Sex Workers?
Social media networks such as Instagram and Youtube allow users and creators to publicly create and post content. Furthermore, this content is free for users to view. These websites use advertisements to generate revenue, while the creators themselves have to resort to brand deals for the majority of their monetary returns. However, other platforms, such as OnlyFans, became a place for creators to have a more personalized, subscription-based paying fanbase to see more profits for their content. OnlyFans is a peculiar case of the subscription-based platform, as it became one of the primary places for sex workers to promote and sell content with some stars amassing millions of dollars from individual photos and videos. OnlyFans became well known and primarily associated with pornographic content in the public eye, but the company had other plans.
While sex itself is highly marketable in media, it’s not advertiser or investor-friendly. OnlyFans realized this, and announced that they would be limiting the content being posted onto their site. Lucas Shaw, a ‘Bloomberg’ writer, states “The [policy] changes are needed because of mounting pressure from banking partners and payment providers, according to the company. OnlyFans is trying to raise money from outside investors at a valuation of more than $1 billion” (Shaw, 2021). In fact, the limit in content would have taken place this month, October 2021. The company that rose to fame off of sex workers had cast them aside for a bigger paycheck. However, this decision lasted a matter of days.
The backlash received by OnlyFans on their policy change was immense. The main platform contributors were suddenly at risk of losing their source of income. However, a few days after their initial announcement, the banks themselves emphasized their support regardless of the content, and only then did OnlyFans retract their changes.
The future of OnlyFans remains in question. It is highly possible that these changes may be brought forth again, but for now the platform remains sex-positive.
Shaw, Lucas. “OnlyFans to Bar Sexually Explicit Videos Starting in October.” Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, August 19, 2021. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-19/onlyfans-to-block-sexually-explicit-videos-starting-in-october.
Haigh, Joshua. “Onlyfans Suspends Policy Change after Backlash.” BBC News. BBC, August 25, 2021. https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-58331722#:~:text=OnlyFans%20has%20announced%20that%20it,widespread%20backlash%20by%20its%20users.&text=%22We%20have%20secured%20assurances%20necessary,planned%201%20October%20policy%20change.