Last week, Onlyfans, a London-based content sharing platform, announced it would ban sexually explicit content on the site from October 1, 2021, citing the need to comply with policies of banking partners.
“The new rules are necessary to comply with the requirements of these financial institutions and are the only way to help ensure the long-term sustainability of OnlyFans,” the company said in a statement last week.
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However, the announcement garnered backlash immediately from several users, including sex workers and activists. Many users threatened to leave the platform to find alternative places to work.
Blames unfair treatment
In an interview with the Financial Times, OnlyFans founder and CEO Tim Stokely blamed the banks for unfair treatment for forcing him to ban pornography on the platform.
“The change in policy, we had no choice — the short answer is banks,” Stokely told the Financial Times.
He said that banks like JP Morgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon, and the U.K.’s Metro Bank had cut off OnlyFans’ ability to pay creators.
The UK-based company took its official Twitter account to convey the decision to reverse the ban.
“Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard. We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change. OnlyFans stands for inclusion, and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.”
An OnlyFans spokesperson in a statement says, “The proposed Oct. 1, 2021 changes are no longer required due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.”
A platform for creators and fans
OnlyFans is a social platform for creator and fan connections. The platform is inclusive of artists and content creators from all genres, and allows them to monetise their content while developing authentic relationships with their fanbase.
Founded in 2016, OnlyFans has more than 130M registered users and over 2M creators. As per the company’s claims, creators on the platform have collectively earned approx $5 billion.
According to the company, over 100 creators have earned over $1M by monetising their content on OnlyFans.
The platform became popular mostly due to its porn-friendly policies. During the pandemic, a lot of sex workers joined the platform when in-person venues shut down, allowing them to earn thousands of dollars every month.
Lacy Lennon, a creator who earns tens of thousands of dollars from OnlyFans charges $100/minute for custom videos. In a statement, she says, “What’s scary is what’s the safety on this? How do we know it won’t happen again?”
OnlyFans has managed to attract a handful of celebrities to its platforms like Cardi B, Bella Thorne, Jordyn Woods, Blac Chyna, Tana Mongeau, Amber Rose, and Rubi Rose.
New Streaming Service
Last week, OnlyFans made its debut into the streaming world by launching OFTV, a free streaming app that excludes sexually explicit content. The app features original content from more than 100 OnlyFans creators across fitness, cooking, comedy, health, music, and more.
The app is free to download and available on various platforms including Android, iOS, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, Android TV, and Samsung Smart TVs.
“From the onset of launching OnlyFans, we have been a creator-first platform to give creators further autonomy and power over their content,” Stokely, said in a statement. “We’re all about giving creators more opportunities to get their content out there and more ways for our community to access it.”
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