After OnlyFans flip-flopped from banning sexual content to promoting its platform as a sexual safe-haven once again, consumers and content creators alike have become wary of the online subscription service. And while the site rose to popularity during the pandemic, it’s already been marred by multiple controversies during its short history.

Since the company is embracing sex workers once again, many are wondering if OnlyFans is safe enough to embrace back. Or if the site is too dangerous for content creators and consumers.

Content Creators – Be Ware

Last month, the company announced that it would be suspending most sexual content on its site in its attempt to secure investments for its mainstream ramp-up. Since porn has a major stigma – even in the modern-day – many banks were claiming it wouldn’t partner with the platform. In response, OnlyFans chickened out, backtracking from pornographic content, despite the fact that pornography helped it become popular.

It didn’t take long though for the company to backtrack once again, reinstating sexually explicit content on its site due to consumer and producer backlash. Content creators – many of whom were making millions of dollars from posting sexually explicit content – were worried that their livelihood would be stripped from them. They wondered where they would go next. Then OnlyFans announced it would accept their content once again, but this time the content creators are worried.

The fact is a company that can so easily turn its back on its content creators isn’t the safest place. These creators count on their content for financial stability and if OnlyFans isn’t dedicated to promoting and protecting that content, the site may not be the best place for it.

OnlyFans: The Dark Side of Sex Work  

But there is more to OnlyFans than the great porn debate. Whether content creators decide to stick with the platform or not, there are other underground mysteries involving the site that both consumers and creators should be wary of – the dark side of sex work.

Like its predecessor, Pornhub, OnlyFans has begun to receive its share of complaints. But these complaints touch a tad deeper than the porn debate. Like Pornhub, the subscription platform has received complaints that allege the site hosts videos of minors despite the company’s intolerance of policy violations.

Is OnlyFans safe? Allegations reveal the dark side of sex work on the platform.
Is OnlyFans safe? Allegations reveal the dark side of sex work on the platform. Photo Credit: charnsitr / Shutterstock.com

While the company ensures its community that it “immediately [takes] action to uphold the safety and security of [its] users,” the site has been accused of negligently hosting illegal content. From sexually explicit posts of underaged girls to content creators being forced or coerced to produce content on the site. And because the company takes 20 percent, many feel like the site is a “pimp” for its own dark side.

Because it’s difficult to identify underage girls, especially past puberty, minors can be used and abused on the platform. OnlyFans insists it has a stringent verification procedure to ensure all creators are consenting adults. But there are still cases that fall through the cracks. According to a New York Times opinion piece, “children cannot be protected from sexual exploitation as long as pornography is protected.”

And so that question returns. Is OnlyFans dangerous? In most cases, no. Content creators are consenting adults that handsomely profit off of their sexually explicit material from fans who willingly purchase access to it. But in some cases – and arguably too many cases – minors and even adult individuals are exploited for their bodies. In this way, the site is dangerous for the consumer and the producer alike.

OnlyFans Guidelines: Why the Site is ‘Safe Enough’

From data encryption to two-factor authentication, being a consenting OnlyFans content creator is safe enough. The platform offers numerous ways to protect your account, your content, and your privacy. Data encryption keeps creators’ data and content secure, such as personal information and other details required by the company to become a member of the platform. In this way, it’s difficult for hackers to steal identities or learn bank account details.

On top of its data encryption, OnlyFans offers two-step authentication to keep creator and customer accounts safe. There are also a number of restrictive tools that let creators control what fans see. From private mode that hides specific content to the ability to block users, OnlyFans delivers plenty of protective measures to keep everyone safe.

Beyond keeping creators safe, the company gives options to keep content safe. Using a watermark system, creators can prevent customers from taking content from the site and sharing it elsewhere. If this does happen, however, OnlyFans has a dedicated Copyright Team that will resolve these matters and work to remove unwanted images and videos from the public eye.

In these ways, OnlyFans is “safe.” Guidelines and procedures protect customers and creators from hackers. But this doesn’t remove the other dangers. There is a dark side of OnlyFans that the company will have to continuously fight. Sex workers on the platform need to keep in mind that the company may not see the “fight” as worth it and may ban sexually explicit content once again.