While social media offers many benefits and opportunities for young people, it also has a dark side. At Game Quitters, we’re committed to educating parents on the risks of adult-only platforms that are increasingly being accessed by children and teens. In this article we look at the potential dangers of OnlyFans for creators and subscribers, and offer support for anyone who may be using the site compulsively.
What is OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is a British-based social media platform established in 2016. Over the last few years it has experienced a surge in popularity, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, when transactions increased seven-fold.
Let’s answer some of the common questions we receive on our parents support group and other forums:
Is OnlyFans a free app?
No, OnlyFans is a subscription-based platform and users must enter their payment details to set up an account and pay to see creator content. See the typical monthly fees below.
How does OnlyFans work?
The platform has more than three million creators worldwide who share images, videos, and messages with subscribers (known as fans) for a monthly fee, which ranges from $4,99 – $49.99. OnlyFans takes a 20% cut of all payments.
What type of content is on OnlyFans?
There is a diverse range of content on OnlyFans – including fitness, travel, food, comedy, and music – but it’s best known for pornographic material posted by sex workers and strippers.
What is the OnlyFans minimum age requirement?
Due to the adult content on the site, creators and subscribers must be 18+ to have an account. However, younger people are finding ways circumvent the rules and provide false identity information.
Is it safe to use a credit card on OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is a legitimate social media site so it’s as safe as any other online platform.
Can I be anonymous on OnlyFans?
Sometimes, parents decide to access OnlyFans to see what their child may have been exposed to (or may be creating and sharing). But before setting up an account, they want to know: “Can you be tracked on OnlyFans?” It is possible to be anonymous on the platform if you create a basic profile with a random username and don’t include any personal information.
Is OnlyFans safe?
If your child has bypassed the 18+ age restriction and regularly uses the site, you’re likely to have some concerns. So, what are the risks of OnlyFans? Certain dangers are specific to creators or subscribers, while other perils affect both types of user.
How safe is OnlyFans for creators?
Some parents are shocked to discover their child is creating content on OnlyFans even if they insist that what they’re sharing is innocent and harmless. Here are some of the main risks:
Creators can sometimes be exposed to online abuse if they don’t comply with a fan’s request or sent unwanted messages or comments for no specific reason. Other forms of harassment include bullying, stalking, and doxxing (when a creator’s private details are published online). This is why it’s important for creators to be as anonymous as possible on the platform. They should always be aware of what personal information could be gleaned from photos, videos, and live streams. Unscrupulous individuals can piece this information together to identify someone and subject them to a wave of online harassment on OnlyFans and other social media sites.
Another reason to stay anonymous on OnlyFans is to minimize the risk of sexual extortion or ‘sextortion’. If they’re identifiable, someone could threaten to expose a creator’s private life and share intimate images and videos with friends, family, and coworkers – and post the content on other more public social media platforms – unless specific demands are met.
Despite the age verification process, children and young people are still being sexually exploited on OnlyFans. According to the BBC, child exploitation is happening on two fronts:
- Under 18s are selling sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves on the platform as a way of making money.
- Individuals are encouraging children as young as five years old to make and post indecent images which are shared on the site. This illegal content can then be easily replicated elsewhere online.
What are the risks for subscribers?
Having identified some of the potential risks for creators, how safe is OnlyFans for subscribers? Let’s look at some of the ever-present dangers:
Even if under 18s are only using OnlyFans to follow the lives of fitness trainers, influencers, and celebrities, they can still be exposed to inappropriate adult content. Pornography is rife on the platform and accidentally accessing this type of material – particularly when it’s violent and aggressive – is deeply disturbing for young minds. Viewing explicit images and videos can influence how they behave in early sexual encounters and exacerbate existing body image issues.
As OnlyFans is a subscription service, anyone wanting to use it must create an account and add payment details. After the account is approved, the new user can start subscribing to creators’ pages to access their content. Subscription fees range from $4.99 – $49.99 per month, per creator. This can quickly add up if a fan subscribes to multiple creator pages and spending can spiral out of control. What’s more, some young people may subscribe using a parent’s debit or credit card without their knowledge.
It’s not only creators who need to be careful about sharing personal information on OnlyFans. Subscribers also need to be vigilant about not disclosing any details on the platform that could reveal their identity. If this happens, they may be susceptible to blackmail from predatory creators who could threaten to leak private and embarrassing conversations to friends and family unless their financial demands are met.
Common risks for creators and subscribers
While some risks of using OnlyFans are specific to creators or subscribers, there are other potential dangers that affect both types of user:
Malicious people have been known to lure creators and subscribers away from OnlyFans onto third-party sites, where it’s easier to steal their personal information. These phishing sites are made to look legitimate (with a similar web address and design to other popular platforms) so that unsuspecting users will enter their login details, password and financial information which can then be stolen by hackers.
At Game Quitters, we’ve seen both content creators and subscribers become addicted to OnlyFans. Creators can get hooked on the attention they receive from fans which cannot be replicated on the same scale in real life. They can also become dependent on the money they make and feel compelled to produce more and more content to further boost their income. For subscribers, OnlyFans can become their drug of choice and they need to view an increasing amount of images and videos to experience the same ‘high’. Some fans also use the platform to escape from negative emotions or situations – it’s a place where reality is suspended for a while.
If your child is accessing OnlyFans as a creator or subscriber, you can use this article to explain why they shouldn’t be engaging with the platform.
Have they tried to stop using the site without success? Is it negatively impacting their life? If so, they may be addicted to OnlyFans.
At Game Quitters, our coaching programs are designed to help young people get their technology use under control and families understand how to support them.