For five days, it looked as if one of Britain’s most successful tech startups was on the verge of a make-or-break gamble, one that would either see it burst on to the global stage or destroy its billion-dollar business.
OnlyFans, a self-described “subscription social network”, announced last week that it would ban sexually explicit content from October. The ban was a shock because, behind the generic branding, such content is perceived to be OnlyFans’ biggest draw.
The site’s name has become shorthand for homegrown pornography thanks to its slick interface, easy user experience and, importantly, loose content policy. Anyone can post pictures or videos, charge for views and, if they’ve got the fans, make a living.
After news of the impending ban broke, sex workers began sharing advice about other platforms that would still work with them. They also expressed fears that the decision could serve to drive the business back underground – or back…