OnlyFans: Celebrity Porn Or Makeup Tips? App double identity check

OnlyFans was launched in November 2016 and posted revenue of US$400 million during the COVID lockdown. (photo credit: AFP)

OnlyFans was launched in November 2016 and posted revenue of US$400 million during the COVID lockdown. (photo credit: AFP)

Have you heard of OnlyFans? It is a social media platform – such as YouTube or Instagram.

However, access is not open to everyone. Only Subscribers (“Fans”) may only view photos and videos posted by Fans Content Creators. Most subscriptions cost around US$10 (A$13.50) per month, with tips as an optional extra.

By visiting the OnlyFans homepage, you are invited to “Sign up to support your favorite creators”. The platform describes itself as a place where “creators can monetize their content and interact with their fans”.

So, if you are new to OnlyFans, you might be surprised to know that it is highly regarded as a site for adult content. The phrase “just to start a fanbase” is commonly understood to mean someone selling access to erotic, or sexually explicit, photos and videos of themselves.

Why is this disconnect? And why is this a problem?

study fans only

In a new article for the journal Porn Studies, I gathered 100 news articles (from February to December 2020), 100 OnlyFans memes (January 2021), as well as the official OnlyFans blog (mid-2018 to early 2021). analysed. )

read more– The rise of the ‘porntropreneur’: hustlers in the gig economy need side hustle too

These sources represent different perspectives. News articles reflect mainstream understanding. Internet memes – remixed snippets of popular culture – reveal our shared norms and values. In the meantime, official blog posts can tell us about the image that only fans are trying to develop.

My study drew on the work of social media scholars Kerin van Es and Thomas Poel, who argue that what people think a stage is for matters—they call it “stage fiction.” It affects how people use it: their expectations and experiences. Importantly, it also affects those who think the platform is for them.

A ‘celebrity porn app’?

My analysis discovered very different ideas about whether OnlyFans is or is a “platform fictional” competition.

News articles were most likely to call OnlyFans a “celebrity porn app”, an “X-rated subscription platform” or an “adult entertainment site” for “racy snaps”.

Likewise, memes about OnlyFans implying that the platform was meant for adult content, with jokes about how easy it is for women to make money by showing off their bodies.

Other memes include a man taking a picture of his back with the tagline, “When you find out how much money they make only on fans”. Another is a picture of a serious looking young man on the phone with the caption “I’m calling customer support when the only fans are just pictures of him in a bikini”.

The memes were particularly telling – they didn’t just joke about OnlyFans being a platform for adult content, they also shamed creators by saying that selling adult content was disrespectful.

Or a place for makeup and workout tips?

In contrast, 87 percent of OnlyFans blog posts do not mention adult content at all.

Instead, the blog features fitness instructors, beauty experts, photographers, artists, and musicians. A (rare) post to do so claims that the platform will support, and never censor, pole dancers.

This ties in with its official (vague) line that OnlyFans includes “content creators of all genres”. This emphasis is misleading, given that Tim Stokely, CEO of OnlyFans, created the platform in 2016 to capitalize on the growing demand for customized porn.

Only fans have flourished during the COVID lockdown. From November 2019 to November 2020, it posted revenue of US$400 million (A$541 million), a 540 percent increase over the previous year. However there is an argument that the company needs to “rebrand” to remain profitable. As Axios recently reported, while sexual content popularizes the site, “it also intimidates venture capitalists”.

profiting from pornographic material, then banning it

In August, OnlyFans announced that it was going to ban explicit sexual content, explaining that it should “evolve our content guidelines”.

To ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans.

There was an immediate reaction. Not only was it ridiculed as nonsensical (a site for adult content that doesn’t allow adult content?), sex workers, porn artists, and adult content creators were outraged about being banned from a site that didn’t allow adult content. had helped make them famous and profitable.

The decision was reversed just a week after the company resolved an undisclosed issue with its payment providers. But the anger and distrust remain, as the door is now open for Only fans to ban pornographic content in the future.

deplatforming sex

There is also a bigger issue here about maintaining places where sex workers are safe and able to do their jobs.

There is often debate around “deplatforming” (removing one’s access to a website) around free speech and whether people like Donald Trump should be allowed Twitter. But deplatforming as part of the “gentrification” of the Internet also poses a serious threat to sex workers and porn producers.

Read more: Does ‘deplatforming’ work to curb hate speech and calls for violence? 3 experts weigh in on online communication

There are many types of losses due to this.

Banning sex from a particular platform means that sexually marginalized people lose somewhere safe to interact. As queer studies scholar Stephen Moldrem wrote when microblogging site Tumblr banned porn in 2018:

Many queer, kinkster, people who engage in various types of sexual commerce, and transfolk who use the platform […] are going to be affected by the decision (and not in a good way).

It also cuts off important avenues for sexual experimentation and education. and destroys the livelihoods of those in the adult industry.

Also adding to the uncertainty is the issue of chargebacks – payment providers view sex and porn as high-risk industries because of the high rate of people refusing and receiving refunds.

What only fans should do now

My research shows the split identity of OnlyFans. This is something it will have to solve (both for itself and its creators) to move forward. But here’s just an opportunity for fans to declare their support for sex workers and porn artists.

Read more: OnlyFans controversy exposes the compulsion facing most gig workers

Adult content creators are openly welcome to feature prominently on the OnlyFans blog, and will set an example by actively working with paid companies to ensure they can profit from their work. On one hand, Fortune notes, being G-rated can help OnlyFan protect investors in the short term, but could hurt the business in the long term.

Meanwhile, in a stigmatized, precarious industry, a space that fosters a sense of belonging for adult content creators is a platform that is more than anything imagined.

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Conversation


Emily van der Nagel is a Lecturer in Social Media at Monash University.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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