OnlyFans says they will ban sexual content, then doubles back

OnlyFans said they would ban explicit content starting Oct 1 to comply with payment partners. Photo by Mehaniq on

Since its start in 2016, the British subscription service OnlyFans made a name for itself, but not how creators intended. Originally intended as a space to share music, art and updates with dedicated fans, the site has become synonymous with online sex work.

On August 20, OnlyFans shocked creators by stating that they would ban ​​sexually explicit content. The company said nude photos would still be allowed, but those photos would have to comply with new community guidelines.

“In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our platform and continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines,” stated an announcement from the OnlyFans website. 

The internet responded to the announcement in an uproar, with many content creators expressing their anger, frustration and disappointment. It was due to sex workers, many creators claimed, the company grew from a $13,000 loan into a porn-focused marketplace with a valuation of over $1 billion. 

“If you don’t want us and you don’t want our money, I guarantee there are places for us to distribute our content,” said Alex Tikas, a content creator, in an interview with New York Times.

Some creators, Tikas included, considered switching to other platforms after hearing the news. JUSTFOR.FANS is a popular alternative, offering a subscription service similar to OnlyFans. Other sites like ManyVids also caught the interest of workers looking for a new space to share their content.

In response to the backlash, OnlyFans reversed their policy in a tweet on August 25. The tweet said that the company “secured [the] assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change.”

“Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard,” the tweet stated. “OnlyFans stands for inclusion, and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.” 

Jake Orion, an OnlyFans content creator who has been on the site since 2017 and is in the top 0.3% of creators, said he expected the company to repeal the ban.

“People panicked and ditched, and that was a mistake; I knew this would happen,” Orion said. “Listen, guys. It’s a bad move, but better late than never. Don’t act like we don’t need OnlyFans.”

Brandy McCoy started posting pornographic content to OnlyFans in early 2020 when her partner suggested that she create an account to make extra money during the pandemic. Unlike Orion, who has 800 videos and almost 2,000 photos on his account, McCoy has about 100 pictures on her account. 

“[The ban] really didn’t bother me personally because, for me, it wasn’t a ‘job-job;’ it was more of a side hustle,” McCoy said. “But it doesn’t make sense. OnlyFans was really only known for [sex work], and is considering taking their whole branding away all over the CEO having post-nut clarity.” 

She says she doesn’t feel loyal to the site and would consider switching her business to another website if the company banned explicit content.

“I don’t think they would ban porn again considering [the] backlash, but people will just hop over to other sites like ManyVids,” McCoy said.

Many creators are choosing to leave their options open, while others remain strictly loyal to OnlyFans. Whether OnlyFans continues to allow explicit content or not, creators will undoubtedly find a new home for their work somewhere else.