Troubling report has revealed how teens are selling explicit content on OnlyFans.
Kids are using fraudulent personal details to sell explicit videos and imagery on OnlyFans. A BBC News investigation has revealed a number of accounts launched by minors on the adult website, which boasts more than a million “creators” who share self-produced content to more than 120 million paid followers. In return, OnlyFans takes a 20% cut of all subscriptions.
Created in 2019, OnlyFans exploded in popularity last year, when many turned to the site as a financial lifeline during the pandemic. The platform’s policy requires users to be over 18 years old and, in response to the BBC’s findings, insisted their verification process abides by regulatory requirements.
But the BBC uncovered reports of kids on the site as young as 12 years old.
In one case, a 14-year-old used their grandmother’s passport to gain access to the site. And a 17-year-old in Nevada was featured in graphic videos posted to a legitimate adult account — his 18-year-old girlfriend’s — putting the account owner in violation of OnlyFans’ terms and conditions.
The BBC made their point when they used the ID of a 26-year-old to set up an account, demonstrating that anyone can steal personal details to bypass the verification process.
“Some of the girls have thousands of followers on Instagram, and they must be raking it in,” said one anonymous underage user. “I wanna be just like them.”
In a statement to The Post, an OnlyFans rep said:
“The company does not tolerate any violations of our policies and we immediately take action to uphold the safety and security of our users.” The company has shut down the accounts turned up by BBC.
Additionally, the rep said, though rare breaches occur:
“The site has in-depth policies and procedures in place to proactively monitor any attempt to fraudulently access the platform and should there be any contravention of these terms, the account is immediately closed.”
The company also added that there are:
“Multiple levels of checks in place to ensure that only verified content creators are onboarded,” including a team that manually checks IDs and applications.
Why is it so easy to use it?
Last month, Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) released its annual report which identified 68,000 cases of “self-generated” imagery — meaning they volunteered the content — of children online. This marked a 77% increase over the previous year.
The BBC spoke to one such underage OnlyFans user, 17-year-old Leah, as well as her mother, Caitlyn. Leah began on the site using a fake driver’s license, and promised she would only post photos of her feet in exchange for money. But her content soon escalated into videos of masturbation and other sexual acts as followers pleaded for increasingly explicit content.
OnlyFans security failure.
OnlyFans has claimed that Leah’s engagement was an “oversight,” although her fake license should have triggered their security system.
They said her account was approved during a transition period when the site was moved “from one effective ID and age verification system to a new exceptionally effective” version.
The biggest challenge with the site.
The BBC’s test showed that the “new exceptionally effective” system would no longer accept a fake ID, but underage users could still use an adult’s real ID to gain access.
While OnlyFans requires users to submit a photo posing with their ID — to confirm the faces match — this effort was allegedly not enough to detect the difference between a 17-year-old girl who used a 26-year-old’s ID to launch an account.
Even after a user reported Leah’s true age to the site’s moderators, her account was again deemed legitimate upon a follow-up review. OnlyFans only shut down her account after the BBC’s inquiry. The same was true for a number of other allegedly underage accounts uncovered by the BBC, many of which had already been reported to the police.