Skip to navigationSkip to content
LET THERE BE PORN

OnlyFans ditches its plan to ban porn

The logo for OnlyFans
Reuters
OnlyFans reinstated porn after a quick scare.
  • Scott Nover
By Scott Nover

Emerging tech reporter

Published

The adult-focused platform OnlyFans did an about-face on Wednesday, nixing its plan to ban most forms of pornography after an uproar from its community of creators.

“Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard,” the company tweeted. “We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned Oct. 1 policy change.”

The plan to ditch porn was announced last week “to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers,” an OnlyFans spokesperson told Quartz. In an interview with The Financial Times on Tuesday, OnlyFans CEO Tim Stokely said banks were at fault for allegedly having austere policies for any business associated with sex work. Stokely specifically called out Bank of New York Mellon, Metro Bank, and JPMorgan Chase.

It’s unclear what assurances OnlyFans received from its banks since then. A company spokesperson declined to provide additional details on Wednesday, citing only “banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.”

The OnlyFans conundrum

The back-and-forth highlights two main problems for OnlyFans’ creator community. First, adult content is stigmatized not only in society but by financial institutions. For example, OnlyFans uses Stripe for its payouts to safe-for-work creators, and a separate platform for NSFW ones. Likewise, Visa and Mastercard last year cut ties with PornHub, accusing the online porn giant of failing to monitor its platform. PayPal had cut the site off the year before.

Second, creators are dependent on platforms, which is a recurring theme in social media. Yes, creators have the opportunity to get famous and earn money—a trend that has grown since the rise of sites like OnlyFans, Substack, and Patreon—but they work at the whim of those platforms, which can change their rules suddenly without much recourse.

OnlyFans got popular by providing a home for adult content creators. Even though Wednesday’s turnaround suggests those creators do have a powerful voice, the saga also showed how OnlyFans can in an instant destroy the livelihoods of many who flourish on its platform.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.