OnlyFans said Wednesday that it will suspend its upcoming policy change to restrict sexually explicit material, citing “assurances” it received that would allow it to be “a home for all creators.”
“We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change,” the company said in a tweet. “OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.”
Asked by CNN Business whether the announcement means the policy change might take effect at a later date, and whether the company agreed to make any changes to appease banks and allow for this reversal, OnlyFans said: “The proposed October 1, 2021 changes are no longer required due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.”
The reversal comes just days after OnlyFans announced it would bar creators from posting “content that contains sexually explicit conduct,” sparking an outcry among sex workers who had helped create the company’s success and popularity. OnlyFans said the changes followed requests by “banking partners and payout providers.”
In an interview with the Financial Times that published earlier this week, OnlyFans CEO Tim Stokley blamed banks such as Bank of New York Mellon and JP Morgan, whom he said had blocked OnlyFans’ payments to creators and shut down their accounts. (Those companies declined to comment to CNN Business on Tuesday.)
Some sex workers were in disbelief following the company’s sudden about-face. Just days earlier, OnlyFans had emailed creators with a link to its new acceptable use policy detailing more specifics about the planned sexually explicit conduct ban and informing creators that “existing content that does not meet the standards of the new policy will need to be removed before December 1, 2021.”
“I feel like the right to work has been given back to me even after it was kind of teased to be taken away from me,” said one creator, who goes by the name of Maya Morena and who joined OnlyFans about four years ago. “The feeling is just bizarre.”
Morena previously told CNN Business she was able to transition away from doing full-service sex work — meeting clients in person — and rely on her earnings from OnlyFans to support her. She said she planned to eventually leave the industry but didn’t intend to this soon, noting that she’s enrolled in college and has rent to pay.
“I’ve lost so many platforms that I just didn’t think we would win,” she said. Morena previously used services such as Backpage.com, the classified ads website that was shut down in 2018; Craigslist, which shut down its personals section that same year; and Tumblr, which banned pornography at the end of that year.
“I would like something more permanent in the future, a guarantee that I can’t be put at risk to have my rights taken from me,” she said.
Another creator, Bria Backwoods, who previously told CNN Business that OnlyFans has been her main source of income since shortly after she joined the platform in 2018, focused on the company’s choice of wording that the proposed ban would be “suspended.”
“To me, suspended is putting your decision off. It doesn’t say you’re not actually going to go through with it,” Backwoods said. “In a matter of days, they switched up and changed their stance on it… it’s very strange to me.” She added: “What exactly is your plan?”