Known for its adult content, the subscription-based social media service OnlyFans has announced that it will ban all posts “containing sexually explicit conduct” beginning on October 1, according to Bloomberg. The company’s move comes amid pressure from banks and other financial partners.
“In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines,” OnlyFans executives said in a statement.
Founded in 2016 by British businessman Tim Stokely, the site experienced a surge in popularity during the pandemic, as people found themselves confined to their homes and working remotely. OnlyFans now has at least 130 million active daily users – an increase of more than 75 percent since March 2020, according to BBC News.
The number of OnlyFans creators has grown rapidly as well, with current estimates topping two million. And while there is some range to be found – from fitness entrepreneurs to musicians and chefs – the digital platform is largely dominated by sex workers who make money from monthly subscriptions to their “not safe for work” (NSFW) content. Hundreds of creators earn over $1 million annually, and around 16,000 reportedly bring in at least $50,000 per year. Many rely on OnlyFans as their primary source of income and fear that the move may force them to take up potentially dangerous physical sex work.
The site says it will still permit creators to post nude pictures that comply with the “Acceptable Use Policy,” according to The Verge, but did not explain exactly how or where it would draw the line between nudity and sexually explicit content.
In working to pacify financial backers and attract new investors, OnlyFans will essentially shun the very population responsible for the multibillion-dollar company’s success.