OnlyFans DROPS its porn ban after intense backlash from creators
25th August 2021

OnlyFans DROPS its porn ban after intense backlash from creators: U-turn comes one day after founder blamed banks for forcing their hand

  • British entrepreneur Tim Stokely founded OnlyFans in 2016
  • He has made an estimated $120 million from the site, with 130 million customers 
  • Fans pay $5-$55 a month for pictures from creators – OnlyFans takes 20 per cent
  • Last week OnlyFans announced a change in policy regarding their posts 
  • From October 1, members will still be able to post some nude content, but it will need to obey the new site’s policy banning sexually explicit images and video 

OnlyFans has dropped its plans to ban sexually explicit content from its service in a major U-turn just a day after the company’s founder blamed banks for forcing their hand.  

Company founder Tim Stokely was last week condemned for abandoning sex workers who say they’ve built his fortune, but he has now insisted that banks which process the start-up’s payments were to blame for the ban. 

‘The change in policy, we had no choice — the short answer is banks,’ he told the Financial Times. 

He blasted the ultimatum he says his firm was issued with as ‘unfair’ and said banks had warned him they were incurring ‘reputational risk’ by handling OnlyFans’ finances. 

Stokely claimed UK-based Metro Bank closed OnlyFans’ corporate account on short notice in 2019, and accused US firm Bank of New York Mellon of ‘making it difficult to pay our creators’, having ‘flagged and rejected’ every wire associated with the firm.

He also hit out at another American bank, JP Morgan Chase, saying: ‘JPMorgan Chase is particularly aggressive in closing accounts of sex workers or any business that supports sex workers,’ he continued.

Tim Stokely, the British entrepreneur behind the website OnlyFans, has blamed the decision last week to ban sexually explicit content was the result of pressure from banks

He added: ‘We pay over one million creators over $300 million every month, and making sure that these funds get to creators involves using the banking sector,’ he told the Financial Times in an interview published Tuesday.

Following the announcement last week, several sex workers told the PA news agency they intended to find a new platform and expected OnlyFans to close as a result of many others leaving.

Stokely said he would ‘absolutely’ allow pornographic content to return to the site if banks changed their approach.

‘This decision (to ban explicit content) was made to safeguard their funds and subscriptions from increasingly unfair actions by banks and media companies,’ he said.

‘We obviously do not want to lose our most loyal creators.’  

The platform, which is popular among sex workers, recently announced new rules coming into effect in October that prohibit ‘any content containing sexually explicit conduct’ – though non-sexual nudity will still be permitted.

Sex workers and models who have built their livelihoods on OnlyFans accused the website of ‘using them’ and then ‘betraying them’. 

Initially the London-based company said the move was being introduced due to pressure from financial partners, leading some to assume payment processors Mastercard and Visa were behind it.

Stokely said Chase, Metro Bank and Bank of New York Mellon were to blame for the change in policy, which has angered many content creators on the site

One US-based creator, Camila Elle, 21, accused the site of ‘using’ its explicit creators to promote it on social media and draw in users.

She said that many, including herself, have turned OnlyFans into a full-time career, abandoning other professional opportunities in order to dedicate themselves to creating the kind of risque images and videos that will soon be banned. 

Sex workers and models have slammed OnlyFans’ decision to ban sexually explicit content from October 1 – with US-based user Camila Elle accusing the site of ‘using them’ 


The 21-year-old college student took aim at OnlyFans, saying that ‘sex workers built the platform’ and accusing it of ‘throwing them away’

New York-based OnlyFans star Ona Artist said that it is ‘suicide’ for the site to ban sexually explicit content, insisting sex workers will find another platform 

‘I feel betrayed by OnlyFans, I made it my entire livelihood, and quit my dreams of becoming a doctor to pursue a full time career on the site,’ the college student said. 

‘Sex workers built this platform, it’s a business to us. We were the ones who promoted OnlyFans across social media.

‘They used us to build the site and now they’re throwing us away.’ 

Stokely said the company was hiring almost 200 new moderators to a team of nearly 1,000 staff members who are ‘involved in some part of our multi-step moderation process’. 

He told the FT that the new rules have also delayed the company’s plan for a share sale.

Majority owner Leonid Radvinsky, the Ukrainian-American entrepreneur behind porn site MyFreeCams, is looking to sell part of his stake. 

Stokely rejected reports that wariness from investors had sparked the move. 

‘We didn’t make this policy change to make it easier to find investors,’ said Stokely, arguing his family and Radvinsky would not bring in owners that were not comfortable with adult performers.   

His comments come amid growing outrage against the increasing number of celebrities who have joined the website – and now rake in millions of dollars a month from their subscribers, with many charging top prices for images that are much more tame than the sexually explicit content many sex workers offer on the site. 

Meet OnlyFans’ top 10 highest earners: How celebrities like Bella Thorne and Blac Chyna rake in MILLIONS a month on the site

OnlyFans has become a hugely lucrative endeavor for many of its users – particularly celebrities like Blac Chyna, Bella Thorne, and Mia Khalifa who are among its highest-earning creators. 

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, these A-listers rake in millions of dollars a month, with Blac Chyna topping the list of the site’s biggest earners with an estimated monthly income of $20 million. 

Here, FEMAIL reveals the site’s top 10 earners – and their estimated monthly incomes: 

1. Blac Chyna: $20 MILLION 

2. Bella Thorne: $11 MILLION

3. Cardi B: $9.34 MILLION

4. Tyga: $7.69 MILLION 

5. Mia Khalifa: $6.43 MILLION 

6. Erica Mena: $4.49 MILLION 

7. Pia Mia: $2.22 MILLION 

8. Safaree Samuels: $1.91 MILLION

9. Megan Barton Hanson: $1.06 MILLION

10. Jem Wolfie: $900,000 

OnlyFans creator Satine Doll, who lives in New York and charges $10 a month for her online subscriptions, took to Twitter to blast the site for ‘using sex workers’ to increase its popularity, before hanging them out to dry when ‘celebs got on board’. 

New York-based OnlyFans star Ona Artist warned that the explicit content ban could mark the end of the site’s success because many of its creators will simply find another platform on which to sell their risque images and videos. 

‘If OnlyFans does go ahead with this it’s suicide,’ she said. 

‘They might claim it’s because of payment processors rules but those companies put through porn purchases all over the web. 

‘Models will always find a way to share sexual content with those who want it.’ 

Colorado-based user Nita Marie, 45, a Christian model who rakes in an average $1.8 million a year from her nearly-one-million subscribers, also warned that the site’s explicit content ban could put sex workers at risk – because it will leave them without a ‘safe and legal’ forum through which to earn money.

‘OnlyFans helps reduce sex trafficking and illegal sex work as it’s down to the creators who choose to post content,’ she said.

‘Online sex work is verified, safe and legal and OnlyFans also offers an opportunity for the user to interact with the creator in a safe environment.

‘Changing their conditions could cause huge issues for people.’  

OnlyFans says creators can continue to share content with nudity ‘as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy’.

These prohibit specific explicit content such as rape, torture, revenge porn and sex trafficking. 

OnlyFans, which has 130 million users, has become synonymous with explicit and nude content, particularly during the pandemic, when many sex workers and porn stars began using the site to make money after the adult film industry shut down over fears about COVID safety.

As a result, the site’s membership has skyrocketed over the past 18 months and it now boasts more than two million creators, who have earned more than $5 billion since OnlyFans was launched in 2016. 

However, the company has not disclosed how much of its revenue is generated from pornography and adult content shared by creators. 

The increased popularity of the site also saw it draw in multiple celebrity creators, including Blac Chyna, Bella Thorne, Cardi B, Tyga, and Mia Khalifa – all of whom are among the top ten highest earning members of the site. 

Colorado-based user Nita Marie, 45, a Christian model who rakes in an average $1.8 million a year, also warned that the site’s explicit content ban could put sex workers at risk


Nita, who has nearly one million subscribers, said that OnlyFans’ ban could leave many sex workers without a ‘safe and legal’ place to earn money

Backlash: OnlyFans creator Satine Doll took to Twitter to slam the site for abandoning sex workers as soon as celebrities began signing up 

However their involvement in the site has sparked furious controversy, with many accusing OnlyFans’ A-list creators of ‘taking money away’ from the sex workers who use it as their primary source of income. 

Thorne in particular has found herself at the center of a bitter backlash – with dozens of social media users now blaming her for the explicit content ban. 

OnlyFans’ announcement comes one year after the former Disney star sparked outrage by joining the site and charging $200 for a single image. 

At the time, claims spread online that she had offered a ‘nude’ snap, however the actress insisted that she never intended to pose naked, and that any suggestion to the contrary was spread without her knowledge. 

Still, the 23-year-old earned $1 million on her first day on the site, a figure that she then doubled in just 48 hours – and soon after, OnlyFans announced that it would be implementing a controversial payment cap for all of its creators, prompting many to place the blame for the new limits on Thorne. 

Following the backlash over Thorne’s account, OnlyFans initiated a $50-per-image cap, down from its previous limit of $200, while also implementing a $100 cap on any tips.  

The company also enacted a hold on payments that would make some international creators wait 30 days to receive their money – without any warning. 

OnlyFans said in a statement that the changes were not prompted by any one user.

However Thorne still faced much criticism in the wake of the announcement – which prompted her to issue an apology to sex workers, insisting in a series of tweets that she had only ever intended to normalize sex work, not financially harm those who work within the industry. 

Thorne has yet to comment on the explicit content ban.

However she was quickly drawn into the bitter backlash against the site on Twitter, where dozens of users accused her of ‘ruining’ the site by launching her own account in 2020. 

‘I blame the OnlyFans thing on Bella Thorne,’ one person posted, while another said: ‘Bella Thorne started it all. She proved that Only Fans could make money millions off just thong shots. There was no reason to have sexual content on it. 

Some social media users have blamed former Disney star Bella Thorne for ‘ruining’ OnlyFans after she sparked furious controversy last year by joining the site 

The 23-year-old was blasted last year when she charged $200 for a single image on the site – particularly after OnlyFans implemented a payment cap of $50-per-photo

Many social media users took aim at Thorne in light of OnlyFans’ announcement, accusing the site of prioritizing celebrity creators like her over sex workers and models 

‘Now banning sexual content they probably hope to lure more celebrities to post pictures of themselves in bikinis on the App.’ 

The user continued in a second tweet: ‘Bella Thorne is going to take a lot of heat again over Only Fans banning sexual content. She was able to make OnlyFans realize that they don’t need to host sexual content to make money off the suckers that want to pay to look at a thong covered a**. Bella has never been topless.’

One person then chimed in: ‘I have no ties to OnlyFans but I just wanna put it out there Bella Thorne f****d that app and started the downwards spiral, anyone with one I hope for success no mess!’ 

The site’s other celebrity users also found themselves drawn into the controversy, with several Twitter users branding A-list OnlyFans creators as ‘greedy’. 

‘Celebs really came through and ruined only fans for those who were actually using it to make a living,’ one person wrote, as another tweeted: ‘I always though celebs having OnlyFans was weird. 

‘They lowkey ruined the platform [by] being greedy.’ 

A third described the move as a ‘slap in the face’ to sex workers, writing: ‘OnlyFans banning sexual content is a slap in the face to the ones who really built the site. 

‘And shoutout to all the celebs who ruined the safe space for sex workers.’ 

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