The Problem With OnlyFans’ Mainstream Dream | New

This episode includes a discussion of sex and pornography.

OnlyFans bills itself as a vast “subscription social network” where creators of content of all kinds can charge their subscribers to see their production – but in reality, its hugely successful business is largely gender-based. That focus only increased during the pandemic, with more and more users spending their free time online – and more people wondering about a new source of income. With a company valued at around $ 1 billion (£ 720million) and celebrities like Cardi B and Bella Thorne signing up, it was hard to see her doing anything other than the same.

Then OnlyFans threw a bomb: it announced it would ban sexually explicit content. Some observers accepted his claim that the move was forced by banks that refused to work with the platform in its current form, while others questioned whether this was motivated by a longer-term bet according to which there was more money and security to be found in the mainstream. Either way, the sex workers who built an following on the site and depend on it for their income were angry.

Then the second bomb came. OnlyFans announced that after obtaining assurances from its banking partners that it would be able to continue operating, it suspended its decision and “will continue to provide a home for all creators.” But many who use the site suspect that it still has plans to move away from sexual content in the future. Meanwhile, many have a more fundamental objection: claiming that the website has inadequate guarantees for its users or to stop the publication of illegal content, and is part of a system that commodifies women’s bodies and plays a role in online and offline misogyny. similar spaces.

To dissect it all, Nosheen Iqbal talk to the Guardian’s UK tech editor, Alex hern, which outlines the possible reasons for OnlyFans’ initial move and subsequent turnaround, as well as what its success tells us about the future of internet commerce. We also hear from Bea Dux, a content creator on OnlyFans who is leaving the platform following the saga. “We’re constantly being exploited for what we can bring to businesses,” she says. “Time and time again sex workers will build a platform, and as soon as it is big enough to attract other people and celebrities, sex workers will be kicked out.

OnlyFans did not respond to a request for comment.

Read more about Alex Hern on OnlyFans here and here.

Photograph: True Images / Alamy

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