Wikipedia describes Onlyfans as “a content subscription service based in London. Content creators can earn money from users who subscribe to their content—the “fans“. It is popular in the adult entertainment industry, but also hosts content creators from other genres such as physical fitness experts and other creators who post regularly online. It allows content creators to receive funding directly from their fans on a monthly basis as well as on tips and the pay-per-view (PPV) feature.”
So, why are we warning parents about this platform? Our concerns originate from the normalisation of the exchange of sexually explicit content among teens. The numbers of children sharing sexual imagery of themselves is hitting an all-time high. COVID19 has restricted physical contact between persons. However, COVID19 did not prevent relationships being formed online. Neither did it prevent online sexual predators from getting greater access to children. We know there are countless children who have become sex slaves in their own home, fulfilling the demand and appetite of their abusers.
However, another problem has come to the attention of law enforcement worldwide. Children from poorer background realising they can effectively self-produce sexual content and get paid for it. While the statistics on the numbers of children engaged in this behaviour are not known, it is acknowledged that this is becoming a growing issue. Sites such as OnlyFans or FansOnly, are only the tip of the iceberg of similar type of platform. Essentially they are social media platforms, users post and share content. But, then there is an option for followers or fans to pay for private content.
Celebrities such as Kerry Katona have signed up to the platform. She recently shared images of herself in completely see through underwear on the site. She is only one of a growing number of women who have discovered the ability to sell sexual images for money. It is somewhat distressing to see people sexually self-exploit themselves online for money. However, this is the natural path that social media appears to be taking. The problem arises when children see those in the public eye make a living from exposing themselves for money, it encourages them to do the same.
Even a casual look at the site will reveal, sex is the selling point of this platform. So how do we define what is sexual exploitation, and what is a job that has remuneration? Users are given an 80 -20% split of the money earned. While the site has very clear guidelines for users and those who pay for content, the attempts made to prevent teens from uploading sexual content are not so clear. As parents, we need to view such sites with a level of discomfort. Who wants to see their son or daughter want to be a porn star, prostituting themselves for attention online and money? Is it even prostitution?
What adults decide to do in their own time and online is their own business. However, if those adults are in the public arena and are promoting a means by which they can now earn money from exposing themselves sexually for money, we need to take a look at this. Is this what we want children to aspire to? Both males and females are sharing sexual content on a site that was originally meant for Porn Stars to enable greater control of their own content. Sites like these evolve over time. They become more mainstream.
The higher the take up by celebrities, regardless of whether they are A or Z list celebrities, essentially chip aware at what is acceptable behaviour. Young girls especially, have never been under so much pressure. Dehumanised by pornography, cursed to seek online validation and attention, and now encouraged to become a porn star. One has to wonder at what point we as a society say enough is enough.
If you discover this app on your childs device, you will need to fully inspect the profile they have created and the content thay have shared. Parents can restrict access to OnlyFans and similar sites.
To assist parents protect their children online we have created the Ultimate Parental Control Guide 2020. This is one of the most comprehensive publications that you will ever encounter. It is a one-stop resource unlike any other publication available in this area. Filled with advice ranging from online privacy to cyberbullying, it is an essential handbook for parents everywhere. Get your copy today.