Tech

OnlyFans ditches sex work ban in abrupt reversal — but creators remain wary


Less than a week after the company sent shockwaves through the adult entertainment industry with an announcement that it would soon be banning pornography from its platform, OnlyFans has seemingly reversed course, saying it will continue to support explicit content.

“We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change,” OnlyFans tweeted early Wednesday morning, referencing the date on which it had previously said it would begin banning sexually explicit content.

In a separate statement to The Times, a company spokesperson added that the proposed policy changes “are no longer required due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.” On Tuesday, OnlyFans founder Tim Stokely told the Financial Times that the initial decision to ban porn had been forced by banks repeatedly flagging and rejecting wire transfers related to the platform’s payment of sex workers.

The now-reversed ban would have posed a serious financial and logistical crisis for the many sex workers who make their living on the platform, which allows them to circumvent porn studios and other intermediaries and sell explicit content directly to consumers, with OnlyFans keeping a flat 20% cut of sales.

But they aren’t getting their hopes up yet.

“Creators, myself included, are still pretty skeptical, especially at the use of the word ‘suspended,’” said Scarlett Bloom, a porn actor who was able to stop doing mainstream studio porn in Los Angeles after pivoting to OnlyFans. “I think everyone will keep earning on OnlyFans as long as we can, but there’s definitely a higher awareness that we need to be diversifying platforms.”

Bloom added via Twitter message: “I’ve spent a lot of time transferring content over to AVN Stars and ManyVids and will continue to do so as well as look into the other member sites creators have been discussing.” AVN Stars and ManyVids are among the multiple OnlyFans competitors that sex workers said they might move to if OnlyFans did ban explicit content.

Dominic Ford, the owner and founder of another such competitor — JustFor.Fans — said in an emailed statement that “creators of adult content deserve a website and platform that wants their business and wants to help their community thrive and prosper. OnlyFans has shown it doesn’t care about the adult industry.”

“If they reverse course now,” Ford added, “who is to say they won’t reverse course in another 3 months?”

But even amid the uncertainty, OnlyFans abandoning its plans to ban explicit content is still a weight off the shoulders of many adult entertainers.

Savannah Skye, an Orange County-based sex worker who said she makes the bulk of her income on OnlyFans, said that although the company’s latest statement was vague, allowing porn to stay on the platform could “save a lot of lives and jobs right now.”



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