OnlyFans must do more to protect children, says watchdog

OnlyFans must do more to protect children, says watchdog

Dame Rachel de Souza has written to the British website expressing her “shock” and “deepest concern” at the findings. OnlyFans said it plans to meet her and correct any misinformation.

The children’s commissioner for England says OnlyFans needs to do more to stop underage users after the BBC revealed some were selling explicit videos. BBC News found under-18s have used fake identification to set up accounts on the site and police say a 14-year-old used her grandmother’s passport. The social media site allows people to share videos, photos and messages directly with subscribers for tips or a monthly fee.

In return for hosting the material, OnlyFans takes a 20% share of all payments. Founded by Essex businessman Tim Stokely in 2016, the site has boomed during the pandemic and now has more than 120 million users.

Creators can post a range of content from cooking to fitness videos, but it is best known for pornography. But BBC News found that under-18s have sold explicit videos on the site, despite it being illegal for people to share indecent images of children. This included a 17-year-old who sold explicit videos of herself masturbating and playing with sex toys after signing up with a fake driving licence.

While a fake ID did not work, BBC News was also able to set up an account for an underage creator by using her 26-year-old sister’s identification, showing how the site’s age verification process could be cheated. ‘Unacceptable’ Now the Children’s Commissioner for England has told BBC News the site needs to do more to tackle underage users illegally selling explicit images on the platform.

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