OnlyFans investigated by UK regulator Ofcom over fears that young people could access pornography

Proceedings will check whether subscription site is doing enough to keep under-18s from signing up to see adult material

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 01 May 2024 15:25 BST
(Getty Images for OnlyFans)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

OnlyFans is being investigated over fears it could be allowing children to access pornography.

Ofcom, the UK regulator, will examine whether it has done enough to keep under-18s from accessing adult material.

The regulator said that it had opened formal proceedings over concerns about its age verification measures.

Under existing rules that pre-date the UK’s new Online Safety Act, video-sharing platforms established in the UK are required to take appropriate action to prevent those aged under 18 from accessing pornographic material.

In response to this, OnlyFans, like other sites hosting adult content, has introduced age verification measures.

However, Ofcom said that having reviewed submissions from OnlyFans in response to formal information requests, it has “grounds to suspect” the platform did not implement its age verification measures in such a way as to sufficiently protect under-18s.

Ofcom said it is also investigating whether OnlyFans failed to comply with its duties to provide complete and accurate information in response to these requests.

A spokesperson for OnlyFans said: “As the leading UK-based and regulated social media platform, OnlyFans works closely with Ofcom to implement and develop best practices on online safety, including the use of age-assurance technology.

“In addition to requiring that all users provide their name and payment card details, OnlyFans uses the Government-approved age assurance provider Yoti.

“A coding configuration issue with Yoti led to a reporting error which stated a threshold was set to 23 years of age, during a period of time when it had been set to 20 – always higher than the requirement of 18.

“OnlyFans discovered the reporting error and proactively amended our report to Ofcom.”

Ofcom said it will provide an update on its investigation in due course.

Additional reporting by agencies

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in