Why is OnlyFans going to ban explicit sexual content on its network?

The social network announced, to everyone’s surprise, that it would no longer accept “sexually explicit” content – for which Onlyfans has made a name for itself. This decision, due to the financial partners of the site, challenges and worries.

The announcement created shock and surprise on the Internet: Onlyfans will no longer accept pornographic content as of October 1, 2021. The social network will specifically ban “ any sexually explicit content “, He warned in a press release.

Creators will be able to continue posting images that contain nudity, as long as their posts follow our usage guidelines. We will share more details soon, and we will actively help our creators with this change. », Described Onlyfans. For the moment, the rules of use of the platform do not explicitly prohibit pornography, only videos or photos in which minors appear, or carried out without the consent of those present, or well-defined acts. and specified.

The announcement was all the more shocked as Onlyfans has built all of their success on pornography. By allowing adults and sex workers to share freely, the app has allowed a real community to be created – and many internet users have expressed their dismay on social media. But the decision to ban sexually explicit content on Onlyfans did not come out of nowhere.

Onlyfans // Source: Charles Deluvio / Unsplash

New rules at Mastercard

The official reason mentioned by OnlyFans in its press release is linked to the future of the company. ” In order to ensure the long-term stability of our platform, to continue to welcome an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must change our rules of use. », He explained. But the real reason can be found a little further in the press release: “ we precede these changes in order to comply with the requests of our banking partners “.

In April, Mastercard introduced new rules for companies to ” sale of adult content “. From 1 October 2021, in order for businesses that use these payment services to continue to do so, they will have to meet new obligations and carry out numerous checks. Mastercard thus asks for ” strict control measures ”and“ clear, unambiguous and documented consent “.

That’s not all. Mastercard also requires that:

  • the age and identity of the people appearing in the videos are verified,
  • that the videos or photos are reviewed before publication,
  • that the sites set up appeal procedures, so that the people who appear in the content can request their removal,
  • and that the sites be equipped with a complaints resolution department, which can rule on issues of illegality or non-consent within seven working days.

The reasons given by Mastercard for these new rules concern the fight against human trafficking. ” We want to be sure that the only activities that take place on our payment network are legal activities. John Verdeschi, one of Mastercard’s vice-presidents, said when announcing the new regulations. This decision is also closely linked to the controversy that Pornhub faced at the beginning of 2021, in relation to its lack of moderation and its slowness in removing rape videos. Mastercard was also inspired by an American bill, the SISEA, very controversial, and which aims to strongly constrain sites publishing pornographic content.

Consequences in “the whole industry”

Onlyfans press release does not name Mastercard by name – we asked Onlyfans teams if the new Mastercard rules had influenced them, but have not yet received a response as of this writing.

However, XBiz, the English-speaking media specializing in the pornography sector, had investigated and interviewed many professionals on the subject. And they believe that the consequences of Mastercard’s decision will be felt ” throughout the industry “. ” The smallest structures will suffer from these decisions, explained in particular to XBiz Mark Stabile, the spokesperson for the American association of workers in the porn industry, Tall this will benefit big platforms and big studios. It is very likely that smaller companies will not have the resources to have the departments necessary to do all the checks. “.

Onlyfans should therefore not be the only site to suffer from the decision of Mastercard. For now, the main competitors of the social network, FanCentro, Justforfans or the French Mym have not announced any changes. But the situation could change in the sector.

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