Lawmakers Sound Alarms Over Reuters Report on OF Abuse Cases

LONDON/WASHINGTON—Lawmakers in both the United Kingdom and the United States have criticized Fenix International Limited and its popular premium social media platform,, for failing to protect users amid an investigative exposé.

Investigative journalists for Reuters published a report entitled "Behind the OnlyFans porn boom: allegations of rape, abuse and betrayal." The journalists for the wire service perused public records and collected testimony from victims of the alleged abuse, AVN previously reported. Reuters found victims reported 128 cases, possibly more, to U.S. law enforcement agencies between January 2029 and November 2023. Shortly after releasing the initial report, Reuters asked lawmakers in both countries for their reactions.

Three lawmakers in the U.S. called for "tougher safeguards" against image-based sexual abuse on the platform. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said, "Rape victims—including children—are not only violated at the time of their assault but they are victimized over and over again with the rapid spread of their abuse material online. Even worse, the platforms profit from this activity. That's unacceptable."
Speaking broadly, Sen. Durbin insinuated that online platforms, including social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, "have become a safe harbor for predators." Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., offered similar comments to Reuters, saying that greater accountability for such perpetrators is needed so that "we are protecting the rights and lives of all victims and survivors."
The other U.S. lawmaker interviewed by Reuters is Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., who previously pressed the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation into OnlyFans.

"These findings confirm what my office has known for years: Americans are being sexually exploited on OnlyFans," said Wagner to the wire service. "Congress and federal law enforcement must do more."

Rep. Wagner was one of the primary forces behind the FOSTA-SESTA measure that former President Donald Trump signed into law.

FOSTA-SESTA has been heavily criticized by civil liberties organizations and sex workers' rights activists as chilling speech that is otherwise protected by the First Amendment. These groups include the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) and the Woodhull Freedom Foundation. Both sued the government.

In the United Kingdom, House of Lords peer James Bethell posed to X (formerly Twitter) that he was skeptical of the trust and safety programming at OnlyFans.
"Too often they profit from non-consensual sexual material, filmed sexual assault, 'revenge porn,' and child sexual abuse," he said.

Reuters contacted Damian Collins, a conservative MP representing the channel port town of Folkestone.

"I am concerned that if OnlyFans cannot say how much adult content is on its platform, or how many accounts are dedicated to sharing user-generated pornography, then it does not have sufficiently robust monitoring systems," Collins said in a statement. "This cannot just be left to uploading tools and AI, there also needs to be effective human oversight of the platform's policies."

Collins also urged Ofcom to challenge the parent company of OnlyFans amid the report's findings. 
A spokesperson representing OnlyFans replied to the initial Reuters investigative report by indicating that "in the few examples where bad actors have misused our platform ... [we] removed the content swiftly, banned the user, and actively supported investigations and prosecutions."
The spokesperson told the Reuters journalists that their consent verification procedures were "tightened" in late 2022.
Keily Blair, the current chief executive officer of OnlyFans, said that "100 percent" of all content is reviewed by human moderators and aided by artificial intelligence. This is a similar moderation process recently touted by Pornhub's parent company Aylo.
The size of the OnlyFans content moderation team is unknown. 
Like other social media platforms, OnlyFans voluntarily reports CSAM to non-governmental organizations and law enforcement. 
In 2022, the parent company of OnlyFans reported 310 potential cases of child sexual abuse material to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and its CyberTipline program. For context, Aylo (still MindGeek at the time) reported over 2,000 cases to NCMEC. Properties owned by Meta Platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, reported 28 million cases to the CyberTipline.
Like Aylo, OnlyFans also participates in the NCMEC TakeItDown program and is involved with the initiative in England.
Image by Thomas Breher from Pixabay