Taking a Stand

Here’s Why This “Great British Bake Off” Star is Leaving OnlyFans

Reality TV star John Whaite earned an enduring fanbase as the Season 3 winner of The Great British Bake Off and as one half of the first male pairing on Strictly Come Dancing. Fans were even more excited when he announced that he was creating an OnlyFans account. But barely two months later, Whaite has announced that he is making the moral decision to leave OnlyFans.

When he launched his OnlyFans account in August, he told his Instagram followers that it was not for sexually explicit content but “cheekier gym-progress posts.” Specifically, he wanted a platform that was “more appropriately suited in an area where age restriction is better handled.”

This factor, however, may have changed. A recent BBC News story alleges that child pornography is still slipping through platform, according to a “senior US investigator.”

Whaite has responded to the news by taking his account down. He explained on a recent Instagram post, “Following the news today alleging that users of the OnlyFans platform are still able to exploit young children, I have taken the decision to close down my account.

“While the claims are yet to be proven/refuted, I cannot morally continue to use a platform that is subject to such serious allegations. Exploitation of children is abhorrent and it is incumbent on corporations such as OnlyFans to ensure they have the most advanced filter systems in place to prevent and report such activity.”

 

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Whaite added in the caption to the post, “I won’t put profit before social purpose. Child exploitation is abhorrent and must be stopped. I cannot continue to use OnlyFans until there is, unequivocally, no possible means of child exploitation on the platform.”

In response to the allegations, OnlyFans CEO Amrapali Gan told BBC News, “We actively work with law enforcement. If anyone makes the mistake thinking they can upload illegal content, we will report them. We’re truly the safest and most inclusive social media platform.”

Child pornography allegations were what led OnlyFans to nearly ban sexually explicit content altogether last year. Similar allegations led to the porn ban on Tumblr and the gutting of content on Pornhub. These bans have a real impact on sex workers who rely on platforms like OnlyFans for income and independence. This pressure to ban porn is often spearheaded by right wing organizations like Exodus Cry waging a “war against sex workers” without real plans to help victims of non-consuenal content.

As for the more recent allegations, it doesn’t seem like another attempt at a porn ban is on the horizon just yet. OnlyFans has requested evidence in order to more thoroughly investigate the claims, but BBC News has declined in order to protect the anonymity of the investigator.

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