OnlyFans Reverses Pornography Ban After Intense Backlash: Platform 'Stands for Inclusion'

"The proposed October 1, 2021 changes are no longer required due to banking partners' assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators," the company tells PEOPLE

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty

In a dramatic reversal of policy, OnlyFans said Wednesday that it would not ban sexually explicit content after all.

"Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard," OnlyFans tweeted, referring to the backlash it has faced over its controversial policy change. "We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change."

"OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators," the company continued on Twitter.

"The proposed October 1, 2021 changes are no longer required due to banking partners' assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators," a spokesperson adds in a statement to PEOPLE.

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The decision comes six days after the subscription-based social media platform — which became famous for its racy content — announced that it would "prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually-explicit conduct" beginning on Oct. 1, 2021, in an effort to ensure "long-term sustainability."

In the days since, OnlyFans creators — some of whom make large incomes by creating adult content for their fee-paying subscribers — have spoken out against the decision, claiming the company was turning their backs on the people who made the app a household name.

Facing mounting criticism, founder and CEO Tim Stokely blamed banks for the switch in an interview the Financial Times published Tuesday.

"The change in policy, we had no choice — the short answer is banks," Stokely said.

OnlyFans has frequently run into issues due to financial institutions "flagging and rejecting" transactions, which ultimately led to their decision to move forward without X-rated content, he explained.

"This decision was made to safeguard [our users'] funds and subscriptions from increasingly unfair actions by banks and media companies — we obviously do not want to lose our most loyal creators," Stokely told the Financial Times.

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Stokely said OnlyFans, based in the United Kingdom, pays its users over $300 million a month, and "making sure that these funds get to creators involves using the banking sector," he told the Financial Times.

Model and life coach Courtney Tillia told PEOPLE earlier this week that she is one of the creators who was blindsided by the news.

A 34-year-old mother of four, Tillia says she taught special education for six years before her battle with depression led her to transition into a modeling and fitness career. Two and half years ago, she launched her OnlyFans page and says she's now earning a six-figure salary.

Courtney Tillia
Courtney Tillia. @Thisiseames

"It was shocking," Tillia said of the announcement, which she found "very sudden" and "vague."

"It also leaves us feeling not so great," she added, "because we were the ones who built that platform and made it into what it is today."

"We made it a brand that people know," she continued, "and to go back on the people who built it, it's pretty awful."

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