OnlyFans Makes Shady Attempt to Build Gilead Under the Cover of Women’s Liberation | Arwa Mahdawi
Porn to be sweet
OnlyFans, a digital platform that is famous only for hosting sexually explicit content, bans “sexually explicit” content. What exactly does this ban cover? It’s not entirely clear, and OnlyFans won’t release a definition that fleshed out what “sexually explicit” means until October, when the new policy goes into effect. So far, it looks like a little nudity will likely be acceptable, but many sex workers who make a living on OnlyFans will be kicked off the platform.
Why would a hugely successful business blow up their own business like this? Because he really doesn’t have a lot of choice. OnlyFans did not develop a sudden puritanical tendency – it is giving in to pressure from payment processors. Companies in certain “high-risk industries” (porn, gambling, marijuana, etc.) have always struggled to get banks and credit card companies to work with them, but it is on the verge of breaking down. become much more difficult for companies in the adult industry to start collecting payments. thanks to the new restrictions put in place by Mastercard; other payment processors should follow Mastercard’s lead.
These new restrictions, it must be said, seem laudable in theory. Mastercard wants to make sure it’s not associated with sex trafficking, revenge pornography, or child exploitation. Sensitive, right? Except that it would appear that OnlyFans thinks that fully complying with these regulations will be nearly impossible and chooses a blanket ban instead. This means that many sex workers are going to be pushed from a safe space where they can be their own boss to exploitation studios or the streets.
“For people who previously lived off studio pornography, the switch to OnlyFans meant a lot more control over security, mate choice and representation – especially important for artists of color and trans people,” said an assistant professor in gender and sexuality studies. Guardian. “This move will put control and profits back into the hands of producers. “
There is almost endless discussion about the role that big tech companies like Facebook play in the content we consume. What isn’t as much discussed, however, is the censorship power that payment processors have. This power has not gone unnoticed by right-wing and evangelical organizations such as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) and Exodus Cry, which have pressured payment processors to crack down on online sex sites. While these organizations pose as a crusade against exploitation, their chilling mission is to wipe out all traces of sex from society. NSCOSE, for example, successfully campaigned for Walmart to remove Cosmopolitan magazine, which it likened to porn, from its checkout aisles. The founder of Exodus Cry, meanwhile, opposes same-sex marriage and abortion. These organizations have a deeply anti-woman mission that they disguise with anti-exploitation messages. Sadly, they were depressingly successful in convincing the Liberals to join their holy war.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that sites like OnlyFans should be allowed to run without any restrictions. I’m also not saying that payment processors don’t have a responsibility to ensure that they don’t facilitate illegal or unethical practices. The point is that increased censorship is seldom the solution to complex problems. We should all beware of shady organizations that attempt to build Gilead under the guise of women’s liberation.
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Arwa Mahdawi’s new book, Strong Female Lead, is available for pre-order