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Under the skin of OnlyFans

Rianna CroxfordCorrespondent
BBC NewsOnlyFans
Honza Cervenka
the Information Commissioner's Office
New York University
Twitter @The_Crox
Pegasus spyware?Olympic

Tim Stokely
Matt Navarra
McAllister Olivarius
Kandii Kitten
Katja Miyatovich
Rowenna Fielding
Tim Turner
Kate Isaacs
Brian Honigman
Chris BellJeff Bezos
Asia?Football phrases15


West Bank7A

Bootleg Fire

New York

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The New York Times
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But from receiving terrorism videos to racial abuse and rape threats, a BBC investigation based on the experiences of dozens of women reveals concerns about how the British-run site is structured, managed and moderated.Warning: Story contains adult themes and languageTina Bean had been living in her car for two months when she started selling nude photos of herself on OnlyFans.The 22-year-old had been kicked out of home after a "big fight" and spent most of last summer sleeping in car parks in the heat of Phoenix, Arizona.Everybody else she knew was making "a hell of a lot of money" on the site. It said that all flagged content is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.Digital experts have told the BBC that artificial intelligence can be unreliable for porn, and OnlyFans needs more human moderators as explicit content is more susceptible to issues of abuse or copyright."The difference with OnlyFans is the way it's set up," says Matt Navarra, a social media consultant. It said that on all the occasions the site was contacted by her, it replied promptly with advice and later blocked the IP address of the alleged abusive fan.OnlyFans added that, as a subscription-based platform where fans pay for access and content, it was "uniquely geared to dissuade and deter abusive behaviour from users" because, unlike anonymous social media, it could swiftly identify and remove them.OnlyFans is failing to prevent underage users from selling and appearing in explicit videos, according to a BBC investigation. "That leaves the primary responsibility to remedy a leak on content creators, which can be a hard, long and costly legal process."Risks of being on OnlyFans can also include data protection breaches and hackings, according to creators who shared screenshots about the security of the site.BBC News found that at different times some creators have faced "glitches" that have resulted in other peoples' photos appearing on their accounts.Kandii Kitten, 26, was one of those affected, and said an image of a man holding his penis had been posted on her page when she had attempted to upload a nude photo.Another creator, Katja Miyatovich, was hacked while using the platform in May, despite having two-factor authentication security enabled to prevent this.As she was logged-in when it was happening, the 27-year-old from Canada was able to quickly regain access. "Without a doubt that [hacking] should have been investigated and reported to the Information Commissioner's Office." Tim Turner, who also specialises in data protection, agrees and said that because Katja was hacked despite having two-factor authentication, and these glitches were not a one-off fault, it raises questions about the security of OnlyFans' server.He added that OnlyFans should consider making two-factor authentication mandatory for creators on the platform given the intimate nature of the content.In response, OnlyFans says Katja's account may have been accessed by someone with access to her linked Twitter account and phone number, and says it advised her to utilise the authenticator app instead of SMS verification.It also said it runs a significant takedown team to help creators remove leaked content, with a 75% success rate, and now works with third-party providers to proactively locate, identify and remove stolen content.The site added it was "very aware of its obligations under data protection laws" and as with all online platforms, there are sometimes system issues and incidents, which may or may not be data breaches. "I like girls who like girls," one post read, while another encouraged $5 tips."When I think about what she did, it stays with you, that you got used, that she violated me," she said.OnlyFans' guidelines ban creators from sharing intimate photos without permission and requires any users making content featuring other people to have written proof of their consent, or says they must also be registered creators.But the BBC understands proof of consent is only requested if an account is flagged or reported, which relies on people being aware that their images are on the site."OnlyFans overnight became one of the biggest cowboys in the wild wild West of the [unregulated] porn industry," says Kate Isaacs, who campaigns against image-based sexual abuse, known as revenge porn."But unfortunately the lack of moderation on the site and ensuring its technology is robust enough to protect people who choose to put their content on there is just seriously lagging behind."Digital consultants say OnlyFans could deploy more sophisticated, automated technology whereby creators are required to submit recorded proof of consent at the point of upload to proactively prevent this because of the added difficulties the paywall presents for community moderation. She is now considering taking legal action against the creator.Despite having breached the company's policies, BBC News found the alleged perpetrator is still using OnlyFans under a different pseudonym.OnlyFans said it uses proprietary software as well as manual reviews within its content moderation system to monitor and manage compliance with its terms and conditions.OnlyFans' position in the porn world became more prominent after payment providers Mastercard and Visa ended their relationship with PornHub following allegations of unlawful content last year.

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