CV NEWS FEED // Citing fallout from its increased popularity as a pandemic venue for so-called “sex workers” to sell hardcore live-stream pornography, OnlyFans announced Friday it will ban sexually explicit videos starting in October.
Bloomberg noted in its Aug. 19 report on the decision that the company, a subscription-based online platform that allows creators to sell their photos and videos to fans, will still allow nude photos and erotic videos. Whether the wave will finally subside of explicit sexual content that has engulfed the site over the past year, due particularly to quarantined “sex workers” using it to peddle hardcore live pornographic content to fans, will depend on how the company actually defines and enforces the new policy.
In a statement that the online magazine Input published, the London-based company cited pressure from its banking partners as the sole reason for its decision, displaying an attitude of reluctant compliance rather than espousing any moral principles:
Effective 1 October, 2021, OnlyFans will prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually-explicit conduct. In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines. Creators will continue to be allowed to post content containing nudity as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy. These changes are to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers. We will be sharing more details in the coming days, and we will actively support and guide our creators through this change in content guidelines.
The company added that it had an estimated 130 million users and 2 million creators who it allows to charge for their content, the latter of which includes the recent influx of “sex workers.”
Before this decision, OnlyFans had rapidly become the largest-profile online content provider to allow the sale of explicit sexual content, an incredibly lucrative venture that had effectively transformed it into a subscription porn site.
While pornography tends to be a strong moneymaker for digital content platforms, multiple news reports noted Friday that the world’s banking institutions still adopt a conservative stance toward pornographers, viewing business with “sex workers” as a less than “legitimate” way of making money.
Since the rise of digital pornography, a growing non-religious and non-partisan consensus has arisen about the dangerous neurological effects of internet pornography addiction, and the destruction it visits upon romantic relationships. No longer just a conservative or religious issue, the research-based dangers of pornographic addiction have become the topic of Ted talks, with progressives as well as secularists joining forces to shut down mainstream platforms that peddle digital pornography.
On this issue at least, the banking industry and the Catholic Church have found common ground. In February, to cite one example, multiple news outlets reported that a Sacramento Catholic school expelled the three sons of a married woman who was making $150,000 a month as an OnlyFans performer selling explicit photographs of herself on the platform. Her husband consented to and encouraged the activity, the reports noted, because of how much money it made them.
In an email obtained by Sacramento’s NBC affiliate, Sacred Heart Parish School principal Theresa Sparks finally told Crystal Jackson that her adult website activities were “in direct conflict with what we hope to impart to our students and is directly opposed to the policies laid out in our Parent/Student Handbook.”
Sparks then added: “We therefore require that you find another school for your children and have no further association with ours.”
Since it remains to be seen precisely how OnlyFans defines “sexually explicit” content, distinguishing it from the nude videos and images it plans to still allow, the question of whether adult models like Jackson can still profit from selling inappropriate materials on the platform — materials that her three boys might well see online one day — will finally depend on where the company draws the line between softcore materials and hardcore pornography.
Several twitter users grumbled on Friday about the OnlyFans decision, but did not appear to have serious doubts about their ability to find explicit adult materials online.
“First Tumblr, then OnlyFans,” tweeted Nathan Hopp, a micro-press author. “Is it me, or would it be too crazy for Patreon to be the next to fall to the self-righteous moral guardians?”
Only time will tell if the OnlyFans decision is a serious one, or simply a strategic retreat to placate the company’s banking partners until it finds a new way of marketing the world’s oldest profession online.