Just days after the business announced it would be banning sexually explicit content, subscription platform OnlyFans has spectacularly backflipped on the decision. In a statement released on Wednesday, OnlyFans confirmed that it had scrapped its new policy that was set to prohibit users from posting any material containing ‘sexually explicit conduct’. Turns out culling sex acts from a platform famous for displaying sex acts wasn’t exactly good for business.
Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard.
We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change.
OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.
— OnlyFans (@OnlyFans) August 25, 2021
“Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard. We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change,” the company said in a tweet. “OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.”
The move signals a starkly different plan than was first announced last week. The London-based company had previously outlined plans to grow and was looking for funding from investment banks and other entities. Reports had suggested OnlyFans had struggled to find appropriate funding due to the nature of the content it delivers.
While OnlyFans’ model allows anyone to create and publish content to subscribers, whether that be cooking videos, workout guides or DJ sets, the vast majority of successful creators come from the adult entertainment space. This transition towards adult content was accelerated even further when global lockdowns prevented sex workers from generating income during the pandemic, greatly increasing the number of OnlyFans models.
So, with the announcement that nudity is back, has all this conversation been for nothing? Perhaps not. The furious backlash from sex workers who have relied on the site to support themselves was likely the primary reason behind the company’s quick resolution, but the damage may have already been done.
Since the initial announcement that outlined OnlyFans’ move away from adult content, hundreds of performers have already jumped ship, moving to different platforms with fewer restrictions. While most will likely return to their established networks on OnlyFans, some may continue to operate on their newfound online homes.
It’s an interesting dilemma for OnlyFans. Founder and CEO Tim Stokely put the blame for the porn ban on banks in an interview with the Financial Times a few days ago, stating that banks including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon and the U.K.’s Metro Bank had cut off OnlyFans’ ability to pay creators. And understandably so – reports suggest OnlyFans releases around USD$300 million in payouts per month.
The OnlyFans sex-ban backflip is fair warning to other platforms. Turning your back on the creators that built your empire in search of more funding is far from ideal. If you ever wanted a lesson in how to piss off 130 million users and 2 million creators in one move, OnlyFans has written the playbook. Lucky for the streaming platform, they had the hindsight to reverse.
Something about the special way you ✨gaslight and manipulate✨ us is starting to make me feel like this account is run by my one of my ex boyfriends
— Savannah Solo @ Onlyfans (@savannah_solo) August 25, 2021