The action is meant to adhere to requests from its payment partners.
Content subscription service OnlyFans, whose most of 130-million-strong user base got onboard for adult-oriented fan pages, has announced on Thursday that it will prohibit sexually explicit content come October 1st.
According to Variety, The UK-based company said the reason behind blocking pornographic content was to “comply with requests from its banking and payment providers.”
“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,” OnlyFans said in a statement.
However, OnlyFans added that it would permit certain posts containing nudity as long as they adhere to its updated “Acceptable Use Policy,” though it is still unclear how that would work in practice.
“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 said. “OnlyFans remains committed to the highest levels of safety and content moderation of any social platform. All creators are verified prior to being able to upload any content to OnlyFans, and all uploaded content is checked by automated systems and human moderators.”
According to Axios, the decision follows reports that OnlyFans has struggled to secure funding from investors who are reluctant to associate with the platform’s sexually explicit material. Last year, payment processors Mastercard and Visa cut ties with pornographic website PornHub after accusations that underage sex, rape, and revenge porn were prevalent on the site. Pornhub denied the claims and affirmed that it has revised its rules to prohibit content from unverified users.
Launched in 2016, OnlyFans became a sanctuary for over two million fan pages that host sex workers and adult content creators who saw the site as an alternative source of income at the height of the pandemic. While there are nudity-free contents such as music recordings, fitness videos, and cooking tutorials, porn remains by far the most popular category on OnlyFans.
Likewise, lockdown protocols also pushed people to turn to the platform for entertainment. By subscribing to fan pages that produce racy, X-rated content, users get to send direct messages and leave these content creators “tips” in exchange for pictures or videos on demand. According to Axios, over 300 OnlyFans accounts reportedly earn at least $1 million annually, while 16,000 content creators make at least $50,000 a year.
Mere days after the ban was announced, several content creators who rely on the platform voiced their concerns as to what is or isn’t allowed, or how the ban would keep them from making ends meet.