How Financial Institutions Control What You Can Watch in 2021 - Part 1

23/10/2021

During the pandemic, we all have heard about Onlyfans in a way or another. The latest news was about how they were going to stop allowing adult content and how they went back on the decision. So what happened after all? This article will unravel how porn has been censored in the XXI century using OnlyFans as the textbook example.

OnlyFans, a fan club type of site, revolutionized the adult industry by making mainstream a more intimate form of consuming porn. The once untouchable models, from porn actresses to hot girls next door and even some daring celebrities, became close and real, answering messages from their fans and sending them personal up close updates from their daily lives with lots of lewd details.

Astonished, clients learned they wouldn't be able to see anymore what made OnlyFans famous: nudity! For a week it was the main subject on social media, especially because models were getting ready to move to other platforms. The trade will never stop, just once again made to hide in less popular sites.

Curious to know what happened? Here are the facts:

The OnlyFans Situation


22nd August 2021 was the day OnlyFans announced their new Terms of Service, highly restricting the type of content that is allowed on the site. The email they send to models is quoted below:


Dear OnlyFans Creator,

This email is to notify you of changes to our Acceptable Use Policy that will go live effective October 1, 2021.

The new policy will prohibit the posting of any new content containing sexually-explicit conduct. Content containing nudity will continue to be allowed as long as it is consistent with the policy.

Existing content that does not meet the standards of the new policy will need to be removed before December 1, 2021.

Our intention is for the policy to be implemented in accordance with the above dates, but we may need to change one or more of the dates as circumstances may require.

Here is a link to the new Acceptable Use Policy https://www.onlyfans.com/aup

Why did the policy have to change?

Due to the size and rapid growth of the OnlyFans platform, where creators have earned over $5 billion dollars since inception, we must increasingly rely on large banking institutions and payment processors to facilitate payments between fans and creators. The new rules are necessary to comply with the requirements of these financial institutions and are the only way to help ensure the long-term sustainability of OnlyFans.

OnlyFans was founded as a diverse and inclusive home for all content creators and we stand by our commitment to that mission. We will continue to support and guide all creators through these necessary changes, making sure that all creators have a home on our platform.

We look forward to continuing to provide an innovative platform for our diverse creator community.

Thank you, OnlyFans Team

TLDR: no more sexually explicit content because of financial institutions.


Taking some by surprise and others not so much, OnlyFans is not the first site to be censored and unfortunately won't be the last.

The sex worker community is time and time again deplatformed from all mainstream venues after helping build their name up. PayPal, Tumblr, Craigslist, Backpage... OnlyFans is only the hot issue of the moment.

On that same day, one of the owners of OnlyFans, Tim Stokely, gave an interview to the Financial Times. There he states that it was not their choice to curb adult content and they'd like to keep it going, but they couldn't find a bank to work with them.

"Stokely said the change came in response to an increased level of obstacles from banks, which would "cite reputational risk and refuse our business".

"We pay over one million creators over $300m every month, and making sure that these funds get to creators involves using the banking sector," he said, singling out Bank of New York Mellon as having "flagged and rejected" every wire connected to the company, "making it difficult to pay our creators"."

I like that in the interview he cites that many sex workers have their bank accounts frozen as well, and he names the companies that have been doing it. As a performer myself I've encountered many problems getting paid during the years.

Performers of the adult arts suffer from a high stigma from the financial sector, many advocacy groups compile lists of institutions that we are banned simply for existing, although our occupations are 100% legal. If you are curious about bank discrimination, you can read more here and here.

It's not usual for a limited company to talk about their numbers so openly as OnlyFans did and I believe it had the purpose of showing the market what they were missing. Apparently, it worked, a few days later models received the following announcement:

Dear OnlyFans Creator,

Our Acceptable Use Policy will remain the same and may be found at: https://onlyfans.com/terms

The proposed October 1, 2021 changes are no longer required due to banking partners' assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.

OnlyFans is committed to providing a safe and dependable platform for all creators and their fans.

Thank you, OnlyFans Team

So everything is back to normal. False alarm, folks!

I'd like to give my perspective to you on the OnlyFans issue from the point of view of someone working in the industry. My questions are:

Will this actually end discrimination in the adult industry or was it just an unprecedented one-off victory? And will it last?


Of course, it was a relief for many content creators that rely on Onlyfans for their source of income. I'm happy as well, although it's not my main site, it's a great place with lots of traffic and potential.

It also became mainstream news and for the first time in recent years, we had the media talking about censorship, the unfair treatment we receive from the financial sector, and how it affects the livelihood of so many people. I was personally shocked to have friends and family discussing it - including people that don't know about my connection to the industry.

I think openness is great and necessary. But is society really humanizing adult performers and caring about our well-being, or is this acceptance only derived from the billions of dollars that OnlyFans claims to make?

The rule of thumb in the adult industry is that, unless stated otherwise, companies will not work with you. And this includes every aspect of our lives and business. From Google to Facebook, from Paypal to CashApp, from AirBnB to Uber, you name it.

And it's all linked to the same thing: money. 

If they work with sex, they suffer severe restrictions from banks and credit card companies and it's too much of a headache to deal with. I understand it's a cost-benefit business decision for the company, in which the environment for this resolution to exclude sex workers is designed on purpose by private financial institutions to make it harder for them to do anything sex-related.

I remember when I was training my assistant, I told her before using any site she needed to read their Terms of Service and she was shocked to see we were barred from 99% of things. Even sites we use because they don't enforce the restrictions, the terms are there and are very clear. It does affect everyone but rarely common people will notice it.

I'll give you a few examples: you can't upload nude pictures to Google. You can't have a sexual conversation on Skype. You can't buy sex toys with CashApp or Venmo. You can't use suggestive emojis (such as the eggplant) on Instagram. You won't find an OnlyFans app on PlayStore or AppleStore because sex nature apps are banned.

Here's an interesting task: open the Terms of Service or Users Agreement of any site you use. Now search for words like "adult", "porn", "obscenity", "offensive", "mature", "suggestive", "explicit".

Check this small compilation I've made from the biggest and most prevalent payment processors:


And what about the sites that do allow adult content? To be able to accept credit cards, they need to open a high-risk merchant account. Which increases their fees from around 15% (common industries pay 1-2%).


And they are still under the rules of what kind of content the credit cards and banks will permit. For example, if the company is registered in the US, they receive one of the most restrictions in the western world. Things like piss, menstruation, hypnosis and even the popular Twilight werewolf and vampire roleplays are not allowed.

Basically, it's the financial institutions directing who, where and what can be seen in the so-called Free World.

Now OnlyFans have secured their bag, at least for now.

How will these changes reflect small businesses? Are we creating a monopoly where only a few hotshots can walk unscathed while the rest of us carry the burden of stigma and prejudice?

Only with the support of the common people will we be able to change things. Freedom is under attack right under our noses. In the next part of this article, I'll talk about A Brief History of Censorship, showing how the government, private companies, financial institutions, NGO's and organized religion are restricting the First Amendment - the Freedom of Expression.

Stay tuned!

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