UK Regulator investigating whether OnlyFans let under-18s access adult content

  • Based on submissions from OnlyFans, Ofcom believes the platform hasn’t done enough to prevent under-18s from access adult content.
  • The platform says it experienced a technical glitch which may have affected the data in its reports sent to Ofcom.
  • Last month a special report from Reuters highlighted how non-consensual adult content is being sold on OnlyFans.

As much as it tries to distance itself from adult content creators, OnlyFans has become a prime destination for adult content. However, UK regulator Ofcom is investigating the platform regarding whether it has done enough to prevent under-18s from accessing adult content.

The regulator says that based on submissions submitted by OnlyFans about its age verification measures, it has reason to believe that the platform hasn’t implemented these measures well enough.

These submissions were filed in June 2022 and June 2023 and were meant to outline how OnlyFans prevents minors from accessing adult content.

“The available evidence suggests that the information provided by OnlyFans in response to the two notices may not have been complete and accurate, and that the age assurance measures it had taken may not have been implemented in such a way as to protect under 18s from restricted material,” Ofcom wrote.

A spokeswoman for OnlyFans told the BBC that it had been experiencing a technical issue that affected “age thresholds” on the website. However, while these thresholds were always set above 18, it has had to amend its report to Ofcom.

Ofcom says that it will provide an update on its investigation by August. If it finds that OnlyFans has contravened regulations it can take enforcement action against the platform.

While this investigation deals exclusively with accessing content, the platform also has problems for creators and non-creators alike. Last month Reuters published a special report highlighting how 128 US men and women have appeared in sexual content on OnlyFans without their consent.

Some people have even had their assault filmed and sold on OnlyFans. Unfortunately for victims, the fact that most content on OnlyFans sits behind a paywall makes investigating these reports and allegations difficult.

While the platform says that it has protections and moderation in place, the fact that abusive content can be found on OnlyFans highlights exactly why Ofcom has launched an investigation into the platform.


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