Internal documents leaked to BBC News show that OnlyFans allowed moderators to issue multiple warnings before deciding to close accounts that posted illegal content on their online platform
The documents, described as “compliance rules”, also show that employees want to be more tolerant of successful accounts in the English content sharing service.
Auditors and child protection experts say OnlyFans, best known for hosting pornography, shows some “tolerance” for accounts that post illegal content.
OnlyFans says it has exceeded “all applicable global safety standards and regulations” and does not tolerate breaches of service terms.
On Thursday night, Fans Only said it would ban open content on the site from October. The news comes after BBC News contacted the company to address concerns about leaking documents and accounts that send illegal content.
OnlyFans said it would allow creators to post nude photos and videos in accordance with the terms of service.
OnlyFans: How it handles illegal videos:
The site has more than 120 million paid subscribers per month and offers “creators” tips for the ability to send videos, photos and personal messages to them. OnlyFans receives 20% of all payments.
In May, BBC News said it would not prevent the site from selling minors under the age of 18 in public videos, but that it was illegal for children to do so. At the time, OnlyFans said attempts to fraudulently use the site were “rare.”
Leaked documents now show that accounts are not closed automatically when the site violates the terms of service.
The moderators also told the BBC that they had found a moderator who was believed to be promoting prostitution, animals, and kinship.
The BBC has seen some examples of this banned content. A video shows a man eating najis. In another, a man pays homeless people to have sex with him in front of a camera.
OnlyFans says it has deleted the videos and that the documents are not a guide or “official instruction.” “We do not tolerate violations of our terms of service and take immediate action to ensure the safety and security of our users,” the statement said.
Short presentation gray line
The moderators we spoke to gave a unique idea of how the content on the site is managed.
Not his real name, Christof says he looks at up to 2,000 photos and videos on some days in search of content banned by the site. Uses keyword lists to search within bios, posts and personal messages between developers and subscribers.
He says the videos contained illegal and excessive content, including animal sex and the use of spy cameras, weapons, knives and drugs with dogs. Christophe says that although the platform is banned under the terms of service, some materials are not searched as actively as moderators think.
He says OnlyFans is over-moderated, especially in videos of sex in public places and in “third-party” content — people who are not registered with OnlyFans.
OnlyFans says that moderators are given special summaries and that if they regularly go beyond that, they will “only focus on the type of content given to them.” Christophe also says that although it is banned, the site spreads sex-related advertisements among low-income people.
Christof and a second person who manages the site’s content say some creators are offering contests to meet a fan and have sex to increase their payouts.
In one of the documents we explain in detail the rules of moderation in 2020, it is stated that sex ads are a problem for the site. He says the site’s “most popular places for escort promotion” are in the “type menus” where the creators’ usernames, bios, content descriptions, and special videos are advertised. Examples of such promotions in the document include references to “PPM (payment per meeting)”, “CashMeets”, “Reserve me”, “IRL Meet”, “sort” and others.
However, BBC News was able to find more than 30 active accounts in one day using these keywords in bios, profiles and posts.
One creator’s profile describes them as “[e] score – sex partners.” A different account asked, “Does anyone want to book me this weekend?” Only two of the accounts we found were deleted after 10 days.
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