OnlyFans Explained: What It Is And Is It Legal?

Harsha Kiran
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Updated · May 24, 2023


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OnlyFans is a subscription-based content provider that allows performers to post entertainment images and videos. Generally, the platform is known to host sexually explicit content.

The site gained traction during the pandemic when its sales grew to 553%. It is one of today’s biggest platforms. It garners around one billion visits every month from over 170 million users

Creators on this platform also extend their expertise to different niches. You will find content creators in art, cooking, gaming, music — even fitness trainers

The question now is: with the explicit images and sexual content on the platform, is OnlyFans even legal? Continue reading to find out. 

Yes, OnlyFans is legal. It is also considered safe for content creators and subscribers. However, there are limitations depending on the jurisdiction where an OnlyFans account operates.

Before we dive into its legalities and legal issues involving OnlyFans, let us discuss the following:

OnlyFans Creators And Audiences

OnlyFans has more than 3 million content creators. However, before anyone can post content on the platform, there are conditions that should be met. 

The site has an age requirement for creators. They should be 18 years of age and are allowed by their local laws to perform on its platform.

Anyone of legal age who meets these requirements can be an OnlyFans content creator. All they have to do is post a photo or video to funnel their prospective fans.

Content Sharing In OnlyFans

While most contents in OnlyFans are readily accessible to the site’s audience, the platform does not allow content sharing. Its terms of service prohibit content-sharing outside its platform.

OnlyFans protects every creator’s branded content and promises them that anyone cannot share their content. 

Any user caught taking screenshots and redistributing them will be banned from the platform. 

Are OnlyFans Contents Classified As Porn?

Adult content is consumed everywhere as a type of leisure. Over 40 million US adults frequently visit adult content sites, primarily those associated with pornography.

However, compared to other adult content sites, restrictions are set to limit sexual content on OnlyFans. The platform added a list of unacceptable content to its terms of service

Revenge porn, violence, prostitution, and any content with minors are some of the things that are not allowed on the platform. Nudity is still allowed — as long as it is not extreme and offensive. 

With such terms, it may be debatable to claim that OnlyFans is a porn site. However, countries like the US have no legal restrictions on the sexual content uploaded on the platform.

OnlyFans Legality

Most countries legalize using OnlyFans, but there is still confusion around it — especially in social contexts. 

Despite being a legal platform, people’s views on OnlyFans concerning women and religion seem to have another take. Consider the following cases:

Feminist Perspective And Religion Legalities

From a feminist lens, OnlyFans is a platform that only serves the male gaze. Some feminists see OnlyFans as a platform that abuses women by commodifying their bodies in exchange for compensation.

Feminist Perspective And Religion Legalities

OnlyFans may have created a new economy for visual consumption. However, it still has legal implications depending on the jurisdiction.

Dubai, for example, has content creators in their country despite the strict Islamic laws against nudity. The website is not even accessible there.

Article 358 of the Penal Code suggests that anyone caught doing an obscene act will face a minimum of 6 months in jail. This is strictly observed in the United Arab Emirates.

This law led the Australian influencer, Mikaela Testa, to quit her shooting appointment in UAE and transfer the event to Ibiza.

OnlyFans is illegal in some countries. 4 of which are India, Dubai, Pakistan, and Thailand. The platform's emphasis on sex workers is unacceptable to these countries' laws.

Thailand has strict laws on uploading content on the platform. Once caught, the creator will face jail time or need to pay fines.

Here are other countries that consider OnlyFans illegal:

  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Russia
  • Belarus
  • Kuwait
  • Iran
  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  •  Angola

Each country listed has its customs and traditions prohibiting sexually explicit content. Most are for religious reasons, and some are due to ideological standpoints.

Meanwhile, OnlyFans is widespread among Western countries like the United Kingdom, the US, and Canada. The platform is also legal in the majority of European countries.

While OnlyFans is legal in most countries, it does not escape legal accusations. Here are some of the lawsuits that involve OnlyFans:

OnlyFans Creator Charged In Singapore

A Singaporean creator named Titus Low faced legal charges in 2021 after posting 32 explicit photographs and 29 videos on his OnlyFans account.

On December 29, 2021, Low was arrested for posting an extremely obscene photo. However, he posted bail later for about $3,438.

Singapore is a conservative country with laws against sexually explicit content. It also prohibits any obscene material that is transmitted electronically.

OnlyFans may be legal in Singapore, but local restrictions on the type of posted content still apply. 

OnlyFans And The Tax Battle In Europe

OnlyFans is legal in most European countries. Its headquarters is in the United Kingdom, which is also home to most users.

On February 22 this year, OnlyFans lost its battle against the UK authorities over sales tax charges. Its operator, Fenix, faces legal accusations by the UK tax authorities.

His Majesty Revenue and Customs demanded Fenix pay for their VAT revenue between 2017 and 2020. The UK’s Court of Justice also supported this decision.

Fenix must pay about 20% VAT as tax obligations of its content creators. According to EU VAT Directive, the company is presumed to be a supplier of services.

Bottom Line

OnlyFans is an adult content platform that is legal in most countries. However, its legality still depends on the regulations of each country. 

This platform brings many implications — positive or negative. Knowing the relevant laws to protect yourself online is crucial if you consider using the platform.


What is not allowed on OnlyFans?

OnlyFans does not allow its content creators to spread hate speech on its platform. They also encourage their creators to follow relevant laws limiting what is posted on the platform.

How much does a creator earn from OnlyFans?

Earnings vary from each content creator and depend on their niche of choice. Content creators get the 80% of the subscription revenue, while OnlyFans get 20%.

Is everything on OnlyFans legal?

While OnlyFans is legal in most countries, creators must abide by local laws. Depending on the country, these regulations may restrict and limit what creators can post on the platform.

Are you allowed to take a screenshot on OnlyFans?

According to OnlyFans' terms of service, you can take screenshots as long as you have a subscription. However, posting it on other social media platforms is prohibited and can result in legal consequences.


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