Market Overview

OnlyFans says it will no longer ban porn in stunning U-turn after user backlash

OnlyFans says it will no longer ban porn in stunning U-turn after user backlash

OnlyFans said Wednesday it has “suspended” plans to ban pornography, in a stunning U-turn that came after fierce backlash from its users. A spokesperson for the online subscription platform told CNBC that the proposed changes were no longer required “due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.”

The London-based firm last week announced plans to prohibit porn from Oct. 1, citing pressure from its banking partners. OnlyFans’ decision to block sexually explicit posts drew swift condemnation from sex workers, who were in large part responsible for the platform’s success and rely on it as a source of income. The site lets adult performers sell “not safe for work” content for subscription fees.

Founded in 2016, OnlyFans has become a social media powerhouse thanks to its looser approach to overtly sexual material. With more than 130 million users, 2 million content creators and a reported $150 million in free cash flow last year, OnlyFans has the kind of numbers many start-ups could only dream of. OnlyFans has attempted to rebrand itself as a platform for all types of creators recently, claiming it is used by everyone from chefs to musicians. Celebrities like Cardi B and Bella Thorne have even joined as creators. Still, porn is by far the most popular category on the site.

OnlyFans founder and CEO Tim Stokely said in an interview with the Financial Times this week the firm was forced to ban such content after “unfair” treatment from banks. Stokely name-dropped JPMorgan, BNY Mellon and Britain’s Metro Bank as examples of lenders that have made life difficult for OnlyFans and sex workers. All three banks declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

There has been speculation that some other factors were at play. For instance, an Axios report said last week that the company was struggling to find external investment due to concerns with its hosting of adult content.

OnlyFans says it will no longer ban porn in stunning U-turn after user backlash, CNBC, Aug 26

Article Rating