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After Pornography Ban Reversal, Can Users and Creators Go Back to OnlyFans With a Clean Conscience? 

OnlyFans logo via Internetmatters.org

As you know, frustrated men across the nation and the planet were shocked earlier this month to learn that their favorite site, OnlyFans (no, I’m not going to link to it–just stop), was eliminating porn from the platform. And it was not just the fans who were…nonplussed, to put it mildly. The site’s content creators were livid as well, and decorum prevents me from repeating their comments here. Far too much to redact.

On its face, the platform said that it was looking at the big picture and wanted to expand its content beyond the fare that its subscribers have come to know and, um, love. “OnlyFans will prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually explicit conduct,” the company said in a statement. It went on to say: “In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines.” But nudity, within its acceptable use policy, is still permitted. I guess that means whenever it is integral to the plot. The company has also launched a streaming service with more diverse content. And by diverse, I mean cooking, gardening, comedy, etc. Get your minds out of the gutter.

However a closer look indicates that money may have been at the heart of the issue. Axios noted that many potential investors were not interested. Some investors are prohibited from investing in porn sites, while some were concerned about minors accessing the content. Still others want to avoid being connected to the site’s reputation.

But on Wednesday, the platform announced that porn would continue to abound on the site. Apparently, someone, somewhere decided that this would be a good place to spend their money. Almost as an aside, in its tweet, OnlyFans stated that it stands for inclusion, which should pretty much give it Kevlar-level protection against any future criticism. Apparently, the cry that went up from the creators that they would lose critical income from the site was a deciding factor. No word on what the fans themselves thought, but they were all probably busy checking their Wi-Fi connections and pulling their shades down.

The cancellation and reinstatement of adult content has overshadowed an August 10 letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland signed by over 100 members of Congress asking for an investigation into the platform for suspected child sexual abuse material, or CSAM. The letter calls the presence of CSAM on the site undeniable and states that it has been increasing over the past two years. According to the legislators, in 2019 there were ten instances of content on the site involving children who were identified as missing by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. This year, OnlyFans was named a top contributor to online sexual exploitation by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. And in Florida, an underage girl was reportedly spotted by a friend in a video on the site.

The legislators are asking the attorney general to determine just how much CSAM has been funneled through the site, whether or not OnlyFans did everything it could to prevent the its distribution, how many missing and/or exploited children appeared on the site, what the platform did to report it, and if users tried to solicit minors for sex work.

OnlyFans may claim ignorance or say that there was no way to police the content of all of its creators. That may be. But at the first instance of even alleged exploitation of minors the company should have hit the brakes and conducted a thorough audit of its content. No matter how long it might have taken. Its creators and their patrons could have taken a breather to make sure children were not being harmed. A breather probably would have done them some good, anyway. But then again, with the site having been on track to hit approximately $1.2 billion this year alone, was the platform tempted to not examine its cash cow too closely, no matter what the cost was to children? How much did they know, when did they know it, and what did they do about it? And if Congress knew about it, it is a safe bet that OnlyFans knew, too. Then again, $1.2 billion is a lot of money. But childhood is priceless. Or maybe not. Maybe the price of a childhood is $1.2 billion USD.

I’ve met victims of human trafficking. Some as young as five. The damage that sex work can do to a person can be incalculable, and in children, that impact may be too great to measure in some cases. I’ve sat in court as a reporter and watched testimony that a little child used in a video by a pair of monsters, a husband and wife duo, would be remanded to state custody since she was so corrupted that she could not relate to adults except sexually. The truly desperate may argue that the minors who are alleged to have been used on OnlyFans videos were old enough to understand the choice they were making. But how many of you reading this changed college majors, careers, religions, politics, or lifestyles as you grew older? How many adolescents can realistically consent to placing their bodies on the internet for anyone to view for the foreseeable future?

The forlorn and sweaty subscribers will have their lust satiated. The content creators have their lucrative gigs back and can look forward to more easy money. And investors will be rolling in cash, among other things. But is debasing oneself really easy money? Is this really the legacy one wants attached to one’s name? And in the case of missing and exploited children, can any of these users or creators go back to OnlyFans with a clean conscience? Or have we become a people so obsessed with ourselves that the exploitation of children has become nothing more than incidental  or collateral damage? If so, our problems range far beyond vaccines or even foreign policy. As more than one person has asked, how then shall we live? As crass, mouth-breathing narcissists fixated on our crotches, grievances and gender identities, or as people of substance?  Can we see nothing beyond ourselves?

Related: The Baby Who Appeared on Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ Album Cover Is Suing the Band for Child Pornography

It is common for conservatives to invoke the founding fathers when describing the need for a rebirth or revitalization of America. So much so that references to Washington, Madison, Jefferson and Franklin have almost become pedantic. We forget that anyone who has ever done anything of substance such as fighting slavery and defeating actual fascism was ready to sacrifice everything. Most of us can’t even sacrifice our big screens or cell phones. And apparently some of us can’t sacrifice virtual sex.

What will happen next? I’m not sure if Garland has taken the request seriously. But you know January 6 and…things, right? And besides, OnlyFans stands for inclusivity. So unless any of these ersatz porn stars protest vaccines or masks, or post a video of themselves in nothing but a MAGA hat, I wouldn’t look for any breaking news on that front.

Ideally, the articles you read on the pages of PJ Media should move you. You probably will not change the COVID-19 debacle, the horror in Afghanistan, or the clown show that is the legacy media. But you can choose how you shall live. You can change what you consume, and how you spend your time, talent, and treasure. Evil wins by eating one person at a time, and it is up to you to decide where you stand and what you are going to do next.