OnlyFans’ inexplicable ban on porn might be explained by this BBC investigation

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Earlier today, OnlyFans stunned the world by revealing it would ditch the thing it’s famous for: sexually explicit videos and photography. Yes, OnlyFans is banning porn, starting October 1st. But at least one publication wasn’t completely shocked by the decision — because it came in the middle of a BBC investigation into how the video sharing site was knowingly letting creators slide despite publishing illegal content on the internet.

Instead of banning an account or sounding the alarm, the company explicitly recommends in a “compliance manual” that moderators should first issue a series of three warnings about why each piece of content has been removed. Unless it’s a successful creator, of course, in which case “accounts with higher numbers of subscribers can be given additional warnings when rules are broken,” the BBC writes.

Oh, and the site’s most successful creators? Those are handled by a different team, according to the BBC.

While OnlyFans told the BBC that the leaked “compliance manuals” it obtained are not “official guidance,” the news organization is quick to point out that one of them has the company’s chief operating officer listed as making edits to the document.

The BBC’s investigation doesn’t end there: it also scoured the site for illegal content, watched videos about exploiting homeless people, spoke to some of OnlyFans’ moderators itself, quoted a US Homeland Security agent about how many child abuse images originate there, and tested to see if OnlyFans would notice if it set up accounts advertising themselves as young teenagers with photos for sale. (OnlyFans didn’t, until the BBC pointed it out.)

You can read the full story here. It’s damning, and so it wouldn’t wholly be surprising if OnlyFans’ sudden pivot to safe-for-work imagery might have something to do with the intense amount of scrutiny the company saw imminently headed its way. It’s also worth noting the company just today rushed out its first transparency report, which — while claiming “we invest heavily in fighting child sexual exploitation online” — pairs that claim with incredibly few details, and only for the month of July 2021. In July, it contributed a single CSAM hash to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s database, and deactivated a grand total of 15 accounts for alleged CSAM activity.

Onlyfans didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.



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