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OnlyFans Announces Ban of ‘Sexually Explicit Content’

Photo from Exodus Cry’s Instagram

OnlyFans Announces Ban of ‘Sexually Explicit Content’

By Movieguide® Staff

In a surprising announcement, the social media application OnlyFans said that they would no longer permit “sexually explicit content” on their site starting Oct. 1.

The shocking news comes after the media platform boomed during the pandemic, reaching 130 million total users. The site became a popular location for sex work during lockdowns, as guidelines regarding explicit content were all but non-existent.

However, in their recent statement, OnlyFans noted that their decision to ban explicit adult content came at the request of the company’s “banking partners and payout providers.”

“In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, we must evolve our content guidelines,” the statement said.

Exodus Cry, a leading advocacy group fighting sexual exploitation and human trafficking, also credited the surprising change to the increased awareness surrounding the harmful effects that the porn industry has on minors.

XBIZ journalist Gustavo Turner tweeted that despite mainstream media’s conjecture, the change is because of a rule change from MasterCard due to “pressure from religious politicians and groups.”

“Hey mainstream reporters covering the OnlyFans story!” Turner posted. “OnlyFans is banning porn because MasterCard is changing their rules starting Oct. 1 under pressure from religious politicians and groups like NCOSE and Exodus Cry.”

Another one of Turner’s tweets confirmed: “A lot of the mainstream press is misreporting the reason behind the OnlyFans porn ban, linking it to an unrelated article about trying to get more funding. The reason actually given: the Mastercard rule changes prompted by Exodus Cry’s campaign against Pornhub.”

https://twitter.com/GustavoTurnerX/status/1428474220653080577

While Turner may have negatively credited Exodus Cry, with many reporters pointing to the steep amount of sex workers who would be out of a job, the Christian nonprofit celebrated the victory.

“We’ll accept that win on behalf of the larger #Traffickinghub movement, and every person, organization, and media outlet which played a role in it,” Exodus Cry said of the development, noting that while it is not a total ban of sexual content, the win should be celebrated. “So what exactly does this ban mean? OnlyFans seems to have a loose definition of ‘sexually explicit content’ since they clarified that nude photos and videos will still be allowed, but presumably all sex acts will be banned. The specific guidelines will be announced later.

“This drastic move is a step in the right direction, especially since underage teens have been caught selling illegal porn of themselves on the site. And to date, while at least the content is locked behind a paywall, there is no age verification required for users on OnlyFans, meaning children can still access its explicit content,” the post continued.

NCOSE also recognized OnlyFan’s announcement as a victory after naming the platform on their 2021 “Dirty Dozen” list.

“We are glad to see OnlyFans work to move away from hardcore pornography on its platform, and this comes after a year of advocacy efforts led by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation with survivors and allies from around the world calling for common sense solutions on pornography platforms like Pornhub and OnlyFans that fail to verify age and consent of all depicted in explicit material,” Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, said.

According to The New York Times, users of the OnlyFans site and app generated over $4.5 billion since the company launched in 2016.

“With the refusal of the payment industry to continue as partners unless they change, OnlyFans is finally being seen for what it is –a website set up solely to profit from the exploitation of vulnerable persons who then pay the high price of psychological, emotional, and physical harm that the sex industry imparts,” Hawkins added.

Read Also: Amazon, Netflix, Twitter Named as Sexually Exploitive on ‘Dirty Dozen’ List

Earlier this year, famed investigative journalist Nicolas Kristof released a scathing expose on how Pornhub and other major adult sites not only allowed for the sexual abuse and exploitation of minors but promoted it to the front page worldwide.

The expose gave credence to advocacy groups like Exodus Cry and resulted in several groundbreaking advances in the fight to protect children; hundreds of lawsuits against Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek, and major credit card companies cutting ties adult sites.

Movieguide® previously reported:

In addition, Visa and Mastercard began investigations of their financial links to MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub, which resulted in the termination of the payment methods from Pornhub’s site.

“I don’t see why search engines, banks or credit card companies should bolster a company that monetizes sexual assaults on children or unconscious women. If PayPal can suspend cooperation with Pornhub, so can American Express, Mastercard and Visa,” Kristof said in his original report.

Visa, which works deals with nearly $12 trillion in a year, said in a statement: “If the site is identified as not complying with applicable laws or the financial institutions’ acceptable use policies and underwriting standards, they will no longer be able to accept Visa payments.”

Mastercard echoed this claim and said: “If the claims are substantiated, we will take immediate action. When we identify illegal activity, our policy is to ask the acquirer to terminate the relationship, unless an effective compliance plan is put in place.”

After these brief announcements, investigations led to another significant win for media accountability and the safety of children worldwide, as Visa and Mastercard officially terminated the use of their cards on Pornhub.

Read Also: More Than 700 Sexual Abuse Survivors Call on Congress to Investigate Pornhub


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