Last year, Content creators claimed that Bella Thorne was responsible for endangering their livelihoods after the subscription site OnlyFans altered its policy to cap earnings after a massive sale by the actor stirred controversy.
Sex workers are blaming Bella Thorne for a new policy change on the independent content creator site OnlyFans that now caps their profits. The actor is said to have amassed millions of dollars in only days after joining the site, only to be bombarded with refund demands for a photo she allegedly falsely marketed. The company has since denied the policy change was because of one user.
Bella Thorne, Life Ruiner for Content Creators
Bella, the 22-year-old former Disney Channel star-turned-musician and director, issued an apology to those who she “hurt” after joining the site. In a series of tweets, Thorne said she was meeting with the company “about the news restrictions” and said her intention with joining was “to help with the stigma behind sex.”
Thorne announced on August 19 that she was joining OnlyFans, but said she wouldn’t be “doing nudity” on her account. In less than a week, the actor made more than $2 million, the Los Angeles Times reported. Thorne claimed she would put earnings toward charity and her production company. She also said she was using the experience as part of research for a documentary with filmmaker Sean Baker.
In a statement on August 28, Baker denied claims that he was working on a film about Onlyfans or “using Bella Thorne as research,” though he added that they did have a conversation with Thorne about a possible collaboration.
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“I would like to make it clear that the news of me making a film (documentary or fiction narrative) about OnlyFans and using Bella Thorne as research is false. I’m NOT attached to this project,” Baker wrote. “On that call, I advised her team to consult with sex workers and address the way she went about this as to NOT hurt the sex work industry. This has been the extent of my involvement.”
OnlyFans is used by creators who earn money by providing content directly to subscribers who pay monthly fees, tips, and pay-per-view (PPV) fees. While the app is mostly popular among sex workers and adult entertainers, it also counts musicians, fitness instructors, and other influencers as creators who earn money.
OnlyFans Forced To Change Policies Because Of Bella Thorne’s Foolishness
According to several widely-shared tweets from content creators, OnlyFans changed its policies around the same time that Thorne charged $200 for a PPV photo that she advertised as “naked,” but was not. Creators claimed that purchasers requested their money back from the app in such great numbers that OnlyFans changed its policy.
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Creators have said that OnlyFans now limits them from charging more than $50 for a PPV along with capping tips at $100. The policy also states that creators have to wait 30 days instead of seven to receive a payout. Creators are blaming Thorne for the new policy change, claiming it’s so the app can “pay all those people back and prevent such a massive chargeback problem in the future.”
OnlyFans stated “Transaction limits are set to help prevent overspending and to allow our users to continue to use the site safely.” “We value all of the feedback received since this change was implemented and we will continue to review these limits.”
After the policy change, sex workers and creators have said Thorne “hurt our ability to provide for ourselves.” Other critics have called Thorne a celebrity “cosplaying” as a sex worker.
Bella Thorne Is Not The 1st Celeb on OF
Sex workers on the platform have been periodically frustrated with the nature of OnlyFans for months, and most weren’t surprised when Thorne’s entrance shook the platform. “She’s not the first celebrity to do this,” OnlyFans creator and porn star Joslyn Jane says. “She was the big name that blew it out of the water because she made so much money, but it’s been going on for a while.”
Thorne’s rationale that her mainstream face on OnlyFans would destigmatise sex work is “problematic.”
Mainstream celebrities like Thorne joining OnlyFans brought legitimacy and name recognition to the platform. Cardi B announced on Instagram in August that she was joining OnlyFans, but, unlike Thorne, she said during that announcement that she wouldn’t be nude on the site.
The site also enjoyed entrance to the annals of pop culture fame when Beyoncé name-checked it in a remix of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage.” OnlyFans quickly responded by issuing a statement to Rolling Stone saying, “Beyoncé, and any artist, are welcome to join OnlyFans at any time to foster a deeper connection with their fans.
OnlyFans Pushing More Big Names To Join
Recently, OnlyFans has been pushing hard for influencers outside of sex work to join their platform. On Twitter, they constantly draw attention to those new creators. In a September 7 tweet, they wrote, “Calling all influencers! Time to monetise your content and connect with your fans like never before!”
That campaign has led many sex workers on the platform to fear that OnlyFans will someday push them off the platform they helped build. It’s pretty pervasive and I don’t know if it’s well-founded since OnlyFans still makes the vast majority of its money from sex workers.
Could OF become PG?
People are now doing a lot more PG stuff and a lot less adult stuff on their OnlyFans. Many people believe that because all so many famous people are joining OnlyFans, it’s no longer going to be an adult site. That’s the fear a lot of people have.
Everyone should be really conscious about that possibility. Sex workers are building the profile of a website and then being removed from that website as soon as it becomes more mainstream. Look at Tumblr. Sex work and sex literally made it relevant, and then sex workers got kicked off. The platforms that have allowed sex workers to stay have been targeted hardcore. Backpage got a lot of bad press and then the website’s founders got charged with facilitating prostitution.
The Future Of Online Creators
The future of the industry and what platforms it functions on is becoming much less obvious. The constant censorship of the internet and of explicit content will not be stopped and generally for a good reason. But what does this mean for creators who need platforms like OnlyFans, where they can share their adult content to survive? Time will tell.