The platform has come under scrutiny due to the amount of explicit content available on it.
OnlyFans is a social media platform where you pay a subscription to content creators to see exclusive photos and videos.
This could be anything from a fitness video to an exclusive essay from a writer to behind-the-scenes content from your favourite YouTuber.
It has around 30 million users and roughly 450,000 content creators.
The main concern with OnlyFans is that it is very popular with sex workers and adult content creators meaning there is a large amount of explicit content available to view on it.
Subscribers can pay a monthly subscription to access this material which can be extremely lucrative for the content creator.
While there is nothing wrong with this if the subscribers and content creators are adults, there is a serious issue when the people using the platform are under 18.
Although the minimum age to use OnlyFans is 18 and it asks users to provide a selfie to prove their identity when signing up, this isn’t enough to stop someone under the age of 18 from signing up and selling explicit content.
Under Irish law, it is illegal to send explicit content or nudes of someone who is under the age of 18. Even if you take a nude of yourself and send it to someone, it is considered distribution of child abuse imagery.
Another issue is that a subscriber could take explicit content that they’ve paid for and share it without the content creator’s permission. This act, known as image-based sexual abuse, is now illegal in Ireland under a law known as Coco’s Law.
While OnlyFans can be a way to earn an income, it is not suitable for someone under the age of 18. There could be long-term consequences if explicit photos of you are uploaded to OnlyFans and then stolen because once they’re online, they’re very hard to remove.
If you have been the victim of image-based sexual abuse, there are resources available to you. You can reach out to An Garda Síochana or a number of organisations including Women’s Aid.
Points to Consider
- OnlyFans is a content sharing platform where people pay a subscription to content creators to see exclusive content.
- It is very popular with sex workers and adult content creators meaning there is a large amount of explicit content available.
- The minimum age to use OnlyFans is 18 years of age, this is relatively easy to circumnavigate.
- Under Irish law, it is illegal for anyone to send or distribute explicit content of someone under the age of 18. Even if the person themselves has taken the photo, it is considered child abuse imagery.