OnlyFans Drops Planned Porn Ban, Will Continue to Allow Sexually Explicit Content https://t.co/cdTrrm1sh3
— Variety (@Variety) August 25, 2021
As far as I can tell, OnlyFans ran a classic HBS marketing capsule: They told their bankers that their customers would *strongly* protest attempts to ban ‘explicit content’; they announced an upcoming ban on such content; customers lost their — tempers — all over the media.
Because the bankers are very much in favor of getting more money from customers, an accommodation was reached, and OnlyFans will continue to permit ‘explicit content’…
… OnlyFans may have been able to resolve its conflict with banks, some of which had refused to do business with the site, by going public with the issue — and publicizing the large amount of money that flows through the site, on the order of $300 million in payouts per month.
OnlyFans founder and CEO Tim Stokely put the blame for the porn ban on banks in an interview with the Financial Times published Aug. 24, saying that banks including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon and the U.K.’s Metro Bank had cut off OnlyFans’ ability to pay creators.
The furious backlash among OnlyFans creators also certainly pushed the company to quickly resolve the problem. OnlyFans’ decision to ban porn had infuriated sex workers who have relied on the site to support themselves. In frustration, some adult creators had already nixed their OnlyFans pages and moved to alternate platforms.
Founded in 2016, the site claims to have more than 130 million registered users and over 2 million creators…
I hadn’t realized that OnlyFans was incorporated in the United Kingdom. That explains how it got off the ground in the first place (American law being so ‘anti-smut’), and also why this time it was the BBC that was so worried about ‘the children!!!’:
Internal documents, leaked to BBC News, reveal that OnlyFans allows moderators to give multiple warnings to accounts that post illegal content on its online platform before deciding to close them.
Described as a “compliance manual”, the documents also show that staff are asked to be more lenient towards successful accounts on the British content-sharing service.
Moderation specialists and child protection experts say this shows OnlyFans – which is best known for hosting pornography – has some “tolerance” for accounts posting illegal content.
OnlyFans says it goes far beyond “all relevant global safety standards and regulations” and does not tolerate breaches of its terms of service…
In May, BBC News revealed the site was failing to prevent under-18s from selling and appearing in explicit videos, despite it being illegal for children to do so. At the time, OnlyFans said attempts to use the site fraudulently were “rare”…
The earlier ‘crimebuster’:
… As part of our investigation, we found that one 17-year-old from a suburb in the south-east of England had sold videos of herself masturbating and playing with sex toys, while an under-18 participated in graphic videos hosted on an adult account in Nevada, US, in breach of the company’s terms and conditions.
We were also able to set up an account for an underage creator, by using a 26-year-old’s identification, showing how the site’s age-verification process could be cheated.
OnlyFans says it has now shut down the accounts. But BBC News has also heard from child protection experts across the UK and US, spoken to dozens of police forces and schools, and obtained anonymised extracts from Childline counsellor notes, about underage experiences on OnlyFans. The notes included one girl who told counsellors she had accessed the site when she was just 13…
Also, ‘anonymous reports of pupils using the site’ from schools, counsellors warning of creators who were ‘victims of prior sexual abuse and those with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts’, third-party complaints of unauthorized image use, and a ‘US watchdog’ insisting ‘missing children’ are appearing in OnlyFan videos. Any or all of which *might* even be true! Or then again: School kids lie to administrators about their criminal sophistication; people with unhappy pasts and/or mental health issues can still freely choose to create adult content; image pirates are lawbreakers everywhere; and waaaay too many ‘US watchdogs’ are QAnon sites.
Nobody (sane) is arguing in favor of exploitation, especially of children. The question is whether driving all erotic content ‘underground’ actually protects children / sex workers… or just enables the abuse of people with no other options.
Erotic videos are at least a tangible good and/or service. https://t.co/cpUiFq9FjW
— Jeff Fecke (@jkfecke) August 21, 2021
Sidebar: The New Yorker is earnestly perturbed that “The Queer Past Gets Deleted on eBay” — again, because bankers are easy targets for anti-sex krewsaders:
… Recently, eBay has shifted company policy in ways that will make further acquisitions of erotica difficult. In May, the platform banned the sale of “sexually oriented materials”—including magazines, movies, and video games—and closed its “Adults Only” category to new listings in the United States. There are a few explicit exemptions, including Playboy; Penthouse; the gay art zine Butt; the satirical, women-run erotica magazine On Our Backs; and something called Fantastic Men, which appears to be a misspelling of the PG-rated men’s style magazine Fantastic Man. “Nude art listings that do not contain sexually suggestive poses or sexual acts are allowed,” the policy states. Materials falling afoul of such distinctions—which could presumably include anything from reproductions of Michelangelo’s horned-up “The Expulsion from Paradise” to back copies of Black Inches—are, apparently, now beyond the pale.
The ban appears to be related to the House’s Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Senate’s Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act, known together as FOSTA-SESTA, an effort by victim’s-rights advocates and right-wing activists to crack down on sex work. One feature of the legislative package was to make Web sites liable for hosted content that might “promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person.” After Donald Trump signed FOSTA-SESTA into law, in 2018, Craigslist shut down its personals listings, Tumblr banned sexual content, Facebook prohibited the formation of groups organized around sexual encounters, and Instagram ramped up its policing of user content, especially that which includes any hint of human nudity. Also of possible relevance: eBay recently began using the Dutch fintech company Adyen for electronic payment services. Like many payment-processing companies, Adyen refuses to participate in the sale of adult materials. Similar concerns by payout providers were reportedly at the center of the recent decision by OnlyFans, the content subscription platform, to ban sexual content—a move they reversed after considerable outcry led by the sex workers who, in large part, helped the company build a valuation of some one billion dollars. In a written statement to me about the change in policy at eBay, a spokesperson said, “eBay is committed to maintaining a safe, trusted and inclusive marketplace for our community of buyers and sellers and we are continually reevaluating product categories allowed on the platform.”…
not to do serious deals-based tweets but the onlyfans thing is instructive in that no one goes into any business enterprise anymore to “fill a need” or even “make money” everyone is just secretly dreaming of their big SPAC/IPO/merger payday
— Richie Deals, the Cybersecurity King (@allahliker) August 19, 2021
A successful rebellion by an ad hoc sex worker guild against a tech conglomerate IS the cyberpunk future we were promised. https://t.co/2iFMhomVn8
— zeddy (@Zeddary) August 25, 2021