"I feel physically safe but not politically safe": Understanding the Digital Threats and Safety Practices of OnlyFans Creators


Ananta Soneji, Arizona State University; Vaughn Hamilton, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems; Adam Doupé, Arizona State University; Allison McDonald, Boston University; Elissa M. Redmiles, Georgetown University


OnlyFans is a subscription-based social media platform with over 1.5 million content creators and 150 million users worldwide. OnlyFans creators primarily produce intimate content for sale on the platform. As such, they are distinctly positioned as content creators and sex workers. Through a qualitative interview study with OnlyFans creators (n=43), building on an existing framework of online hate and harassment, we shed light on the nuanced threats they face and their safety practices. Additionally, we examine the impact of factors such as stigma, prominence, and platform policies on shaping the threat landscape for OnlyFans creators and detail the preemptive practices they undertake to protect themselves. Leveraging these results, we synthesize opportunities to address the challenges of sexual content creators.

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