In the last two years, the platform OnlyFans has blown up into a billion-dollar company. While its subscription services are for any type of content, most of its success is due to the many online sex workers who use the platform to sell their photos and videos. During the pandemic, sex workers contributed even more to this site, drawing in more creators and subscribers, and thus more revenue. Despite this, in August, the site announced that starting in October, explicit content would be banned from its platforms. This unexpected change left many sex workers, whose main source of income is their subscribers, jilted.
Shortly after this announcement, sex workers expressed their anger and resentment towards the company, exchanging lists of different platforms they could turn to instead. OnlyFans responded to this outrage with a tweet explaining that this ban was due to banking issues. Within days of announcing its new rule, OnlyFans reported that it had found a solution and that the ban would be “suspended.”
While this was an issue that was quickly dealt with, the damage had been done. Not only were sex workers shown that they could not rely on the site despite their major contributions to its success, but many also lost subscribers due to the initial announcement.
OnlyFans may have narrowly managed to clean up its mess, but this betrayal was the last straw for many creators. For them to have already dealt with other issues over the years, such as the platform’s sizeable 20% cut of creators’ earnings, it is clear that they are seen only for their monetary value. While it is the goal for many companies to prosper and stay operational, I feel it was in poor taste to do so at the expense of the people who made OnlyFans such a lucrative platform.
Despite many sex workers staying with the site, the future of the platform seems bleak due to this sense of distrust, especially as the ban is merely “suspended” and not off the table altogether. OnlyFans has shown its true colours throughout this whole debacle, demonstrating that the diligence of their sex workers is worth exploiting only at the site’s convenience.