What the OF is Going On?

by Sim-Wise

So the day we all feared might be coming came and OnlyFans has announced it is booting adult creators off of its platform after months of speculation. If you have been in a hole for the past few days, here is a sourced and verified breakdown of everything that has happened so far...

SO WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED?

On the 19th August 2021 Bloomberg broke the news that OnlyFans is moving away from explicit adult content (this came after an Axios article claiming that OnlyFans was struggling to secure VC funding and a BBC hit piece alleging underaged content on the platform). This news was closely followed by an official statement from OnlyFans confirming a move away from explicit content, and an email announcement the next day to creators with further clarification on what is meant by this in its updated Acceptable Use Policy.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?


The changes that have affected OnlyFans (and Pornhub before it) are partly due to the credit card company Mastercard being lobbied by Christian extremist groups. The main group is called Exodus Cry and their big aim is to drive sex work (and its workers) off of the internet. They do this by hiding their agenda behind the cover of human trafficking and child exploitation. The bigger the adult platform the bigger the target it is, although, conveniently for them, they seem to be ignoring Facebook which has the biggest child exploitation problem of all the platforms (20 million cases in 2020). They ignore Facebook because it is their biggest weapon in spreading their anti-porn rhetoric, but their next target has been confirmed as Twitter and potentially Reddit (rumoured).

BUT ISN’T ONLYFANS PRETTY MUCH ONLY ADULT CONTENT?


Predominantly, yes, but in the early days it was more ambiguous. Despite adult content creators being welcomed as early adopters on the OnlyFans platform, from a business perspective it was always the platform’s aim to court mainstream attention. In the past two years they have actively been seeking more mainstream content creators, catering more to chefs and makeup artists than adult creators, in a thinly veiled attempt to clean up their image and attract investors. Despite sex workers constituting the majority of the platform's income, OnlyFans haven’t been the most openly supportive platform, and have tended to treat adult creators as a dirty secret, never promoting or addressing their adult creators directly. The only time OnlyFans have directly addressed adult creators was on the 21st August 2021 (a full TWO DAYS after the announcement broke) with this poorly received tweet. It remains to be seen what will happen to the platform after adult content is removed.

HASN’T THIS HAPPENED BEFORE?