A Twitter thread of online sex workers complaining about the subscription service OnlyFans went viral this week, as women who sell their bodies online alleged that the platform was deleting accounts and refunding donations in an attempt to strike a more “vanilla,” family-friendly image.
The thread received attention after being posted to Facebook with the caption, “ OnlyFans is deleting accounts of SW and refunding subscribers. Meaning some girls have lost literally thousands of dollars. They’re trying to make it a non SW platform for no actual reason.”
One OnlyFans sexual content creator wrote, “My OnlyFans was deactivated and funds are being refunded to customers. ‘It is final and cannot be contested.’ I didn’t do anything wrong. I never thought something like this would happen to me because I am so diligent but here we are. If it happened to me it can happen to you.”
Another replied, “Same here, frozen because I got flagged over nothing. Can not get it back, don’t want it back.”
Several users reported that OnlyFans restored their accounts after the fact, citing system “glitches.”
OnlyFans has received notoriety for its use by online sex workers, but the platform has repeatedly insisted that it wants creators of many different types of content to feel welcome there, including artists, musicians, and writers.
One Facebook user pointed out that OnlyFans’ Terms of Service states that users shall not “create, upload, post, display, publish or distribute User Content” that is “obscene, illegal, fraudulent, defamatory, libelous, hateful, discriminatory, threatening or harassing, or in any way which incites violence or violates any of the aforementioned prohibitions.”
The standard definition of obscenity as “abhorrent to morality or virtue” and “designed to incite to lust or depravity” has raised the question among many as to whether online sex work is actually in accordance with the OnlyFans Terms of Service.
Earlier this month, National File reported on the story of an OnlyFans user who lamented that the coronavirus has reduced her income for lewd content and that she has “no other talents.”