OnlyFans is banning X-rated content, abandoning the sex workers who made the platform popular

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The pandemic saw the meteoric rise in popularity of UK-based website, OnlyFans. Beyond connection, the site provided a way for anyone to make money — if they wanted to work hard at it. And while it hosted whatever kind of pay-per-view channel users wanted to create, it presented as an especially lucrative and appealing option for out of work sex workers who craved more income stability and safer environments. So much, in fact, that the site has become synonymous with NSFW content. And now, OnlyFans has made a shocking announcement to ban all pornographic posts this fall.

In a statement to Variety, OnlyFans — which because of its pornographic content only exists as a website — stated the shift in policy is, "to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers." Money does tend to influence. But what of the more than $2 billion in pay outs to users in 2020 alone, 20% of which OnlyFans keeps as a fee? The just-announced shift has to have come as a stun to the x-rated content creators who have been driving this profit.

It seems that in order to shift their image, OnlyFans is willing to take the risk of that financial loss. In their statement OnlyFans continued that beginning October 1, 2021, "OnlyFans will prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually explicit conduct. In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines."

Having launched OFTV earlier this week, a free streaming service that is safe for work, it is clear the direction they're trying to move towards in the landscape of both social media and streaming is more wholesome. OnlyFans did promise, "We will be sharing more details in the coming days, and we will actively support and guide our creators through this change in content guidelines," but how they intend to do that for the creators who made the platform famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) to begin with remains unseen.