Only fans to ban sexually explicit content citing regulatory concerns
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OnlyFans will ban sexually explicit content on its platform due to regulatory concerns, and shun the creators who helped make the British company one of the world’s fastest growing social platforms.
The company said Thursday evening that, as of October 1, it will no longer allow content that “contains sexually explicit behavior” in order to “comply with the requests of our banking partners and payment providers.”
Nudity will still be allowed, and the company said more detailed guidelines will be published to more than two million creators in the coming days.
“In order to ensure the platform’s long-term sustainability, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must develop our own content guidelines,” she said in a statement.
The unexpected move will come as a shock to adult performers, many of whom have flocked to the stage during the pandemic as more traditional pornography production has been hampered by the shutdowns.
Tim Stockley, the company’s founder and CEO, told the Financial Times in April that he had “no plans to shut down adult content creators”.
The platform, where sex workers, celebrities and influencers charge fans for photos, videos and personalized content, increased transactions 615 per cent to £1.7 billion last year, and before that decision had been expecting pre-tax earnings of £300 million this year.
A person close to the company said that the managers and majority owner of the company Leonid Radvinsky made the decision recently, as it has become difficult to attract new business partners due to the stigma around pornographic content.
OnlyFans was unsure of the short-term damage to revenue that might result from the decision, but managers have estimated a potential 25 percent decline over the next few months.
“You can either be the biggest porn site in the world or you can have an amazing social media platform in terms of its business model,” said the person close to the company, explaining that OnlyFans will now try to take on more mainstream platforms like Instagram and TikTok on Facebook.
“It is fair to say that they have lost potential partners [their] Councils will say [porn] It was too big to pose a reputational risk,” the person added.
OnlyFans has also faced high processing costs from payment merchants such as Visa and Mastercard, which charge companies higher rates in the adult industry.
The company has been preparing in recent months for a share sale to attract new investors, something the person close to the company said has been paused as it considers a fundamental change to its business model.
YNOT, a news provider and event organizer in the adult industry, told the Financial Times that the changes “will harm the thousands of women, men and historically marginalized people who have relied on that platform to generate secure income from home.”
She added that adult content creators should make sure to diversify their revenue sources, as the rules on social media platforms are likely to become more restrictive as the long-running war on the porn industry has regained power in recent years.
“Some media critics . . . continue to mischaracterize our industry, lack nuance, and have contributed to unnecessary hardships for many people trying to earn a living,” the group added.