Subscription content site OnlyFans has been criticised by sex workers over its announced new policy banning explicit content.
OnlyFans has increased in popularity in recent years, allowing sex workers and content users a medium for contact during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns.
It has also been co-opted by celebrities offering subscriber-only content to fans.
Now, the online giant has responded to pressure from banks and payment processors by announcing it will ban the adult material with which it is synonymous.
Details of the ban are yet to be announced, but it will come into effect in October.
“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,” a spokesperson said.
“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.
“OnlyFans remains committed to the highest levels of safety and content moderation of any social platform.
“All creators are verified prior to being able to upload any content to OnlyFans, and all uploaded content is checked by automated systems and human moderators.”
Sex workers and allies have taken to social media to slam the decision, comparing it to the controversial FOSTA/SESTA legislation in the US that shut down adult services websites.
“Many sex workers will have to rebuild again. It’s exhausting,” tweeted one sex worker and activist.
“That’s some people’s livelihood. How they feed their kids,” wrote another person.
“Sex work is work and it was work that put OnlyFans on the map and made it so successful,” wrote one Twitter user.
“This sucks for the platform and it sucks 1000x more for the creators that put so much into it.”
The platform has been criticised for dumping the workers who built it.
“Patreon, Tumblr, now OnlyFans – sex work regularly gets used for growth and building and then kicked off once critical mass is reached,” posted one person.
OnlyFans joins numerous high-profile sites that have banned explicit content, including Tumblr in 2018.
Many sex workers have used the platform to connect with clients and make a living while unable to work in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic.