In August, the popular content subscription website OnlyFans announced a ban on sexually explicit content on its platform. Only a week later, the site reversed its decision.
While the overturning of the OnlyFans ban has been beneficial to creators of unsafe for work (NSFW) content and online sex workers, there are still many flaws in the site’s culture that threaten the means. livelihood of those who use it for a living. Such flaws could also impact students who could use the site as a convenient way to earn money.
What is OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is a site where subscribers pay creators for access to exclusive photo and video content. Many celebrities also use OnlyFans to interact more closely with their followers. The site is not designed specifically to feature sexually explicit material, but OnlyFans is best known for its NSFW content. As of August, OnlyFans is known to have 130 million users and two million content creators.
The ban was announced in late August after financial partners who help fund OnlyFans demanded the removal of material deemed sexually explicit. The ban was due to go into effect on October 1. However, after public outcry and demands from sex worker advocates and content creators, OnlyFans rescinded its ban a week later on August 25.
Due to the pandemic, many people have lost their jobs and their main sources of income. This made people look for new ways to make money. For many, OnlyFans became a haven where they could earn money on their own time and reap significant financial benefits. Some OnlyFans content creators have said that the income they make from the site covers not only their basic expenses but also some frivolous expenses and the expenses of loved ones.
The pandemic has made it extremely difficult for sex workers to continue to generate income, as public health protocols have resulted in the closure of many adult entertainment venues where they were employed. Thanks to OnlyFans, sex workers have found a new platform where they can safely engage in their work and have an income even while COVID-19 is raging.
The proposed ban on sexually explicit material on OnlyFans may have done a lot of damage to many of the platform’s creators. Popular sexual content on the site has helped many people maintain a source of income during the pandemic, and therefore such a ban could have wiped out large amounts of essential income for content creators. And although the ban has been overturned, sex workers and creators still face obstacles that threaten their careers on OnlyFans, possibly threatening their livelihoods.
Celebrities divert income from those in need
A potentially problematic factor for sex workers and NSFW content creators on OnlyFans is the presence of celebrities on the site. Celebrities and influencers who have high social media followers outside of OnlyFans are more likely to be successful and make more money with the site. This could be detrimental to people who rely on OnlyFans as their primary source of income, but may not initially have a large following.
Additionally, some celebrities have come under fire for using OnlyFans as it has been reported that they are misleading expensive content. An example of this was when actress Bella Thorne allegedly falsely advertised a $ 200 pay-per-view message in which she was supposed to be naked.
Now, there are spending restrictions on the site that prevent creators from charging high prices for their content. Unfortunately, this can also hurt creators of less popular content, as they may not be able to price their content at the amount they think it’s worth. In this way, the expensive celebrity content on OnlyFans can make it difficult for small creators to raise the prices of their content, thereby affecting their income.
Another issue that many sex workers and NSFW content creators on OnlyFans face is the issue of content leaks and privacy concerns. “Capping,” a practice where banned recordings and screenshots of paid material are taken and distributed, has caused financial hardship for many of the creators of OnlyFans. Doxxing, the process by which private information is posted online without permission, has also been a problem. Capping and doxxing not only prohibits OnlyFans content creators from receiving their earned income, but also threatens their existence, privacy, and security.
Students in financial difficulty can rely on sex work
OnlyFans has been a haven not only for sex workers seeking digital forms of income during the pandemic, but also for college students. The nature of OnlyFans’ content subscription method coupled with the ability to earn quick cash has made the platform appealing to many students. While trying to cope with studies, social life, hardships in the job market, and high education costs, OnlyFans and sex work in general have been a way for many students to earn some money. decent on their free time.
A Swansea University study found that one in five students have considered entering the sex industry, and that five percent of students end up working in the industry at some point. Obviously, the sex industry is attractive to college students, but online sex work could be even more appealing because it is safer and workers have more control over their working conditions than conventional ways of working. sex. This call is then likely to have an impact on the students of the University of Toronto who may have financial difficulties, including those who are already involved in sex work.
Regaining the confidence of sex workers
The increase in celebrity content on OnlyFans along with privacy concerns threatens all NSFW content creators, including those who can sit with us in our classes. Many people who post sexually explicit material on the site are considering using more gender-appropriate platforms, such as PocketStars, ManyVids, and Frisk, to generate income.
To gain the trust of sex workers and NSFW content creators, OnlyFans must demonstrate that it prioritizes the livelihoods of these people over celebrities and big financial institutions. Yet even after the content ban was lifted, it looks like it will be a tough journey for OnlyFans to regain the trust of the people who made the platform a success.
While rescinding the ban on sexually explicit content on OnlyFans has saved online sex workers and NSFW content creators from losing revenue streams, such a move by the platform is just one band-aid solution for the big nicks that continue to hurt vulnerable content creators. – including university students – the most.
Thérèse Perucho is a third year student in human geography, political science and practical French at the University College. She is Assistant Curator of Literary and Creative Arts at the University College Literary and Athletic Society.