A new report from the BBC says that a sex site is exploiting children by posting explicit videos of underage children.
The site Only Fans allows users to create their own material and sell it to subscribers, the BBC reported.
OnlyFans grabs 20 percent of the money.
It says it bars people under 18 from having accounts and says it has procedures in place to ensure its rules are followed. The BBC, however, found multiple instances of people under 18 making explicit videos.
The BBC report did not provide names of those it said were breaking the site’s rules, but it noted that many of those under 18 are boasting to either friends in school or the community about the cash they are making by having sex for others to see.
“It is increasingly clear that OnlyFans is being used by children,” says chief constable Simon Bailey, the UK’s child protection lead.
“The company is not doing enough to put in place the safeguards that prevent children exploiting the opportunity to generate money, but also for children to be exploited.”
The BBC report gives an instance of a 17-year-old girl in England, whose bank account was frozen because so much cash was coming in.
The report quoted her mother, whose name was given as Caitlyn, expressing shock like “any parent.”
“I don’t understand why people are paying so much money for this,” she told the outlet.
After OnlyFans was finally aware she was underage, her account was blocked, but the images from it are all over the internet — something the girl is having trouble facing.
“She won’t go out at all, really,” Caitlyn said. “She doesn’t want to be seen.”
The BBC said Hertfordshire Police told it that a 14-year-old girl used her grandmother’s passport as a way to create an account.
In some cases, underage teens are appearing in explicit content on accounts owned by adults.
The report noted a case it said involved a Nevada teen who claimed to have gotten $5,000 off of one video.
The BBC report said that a 16-year-old at a London school bragged about the money she made to counselors there, and that a 12-year-old girl had been trying to meet adult explicit content creators.
A 13-year-old who was posting on OnlyFans told counselors at Childline, an online counseling service in Britain, about her activities. The notes were shared with the BBC without any identifying details.
“I don’t wanna talk about the types of pictures I post on there and I know it’s not appropriate for kids my age to be doing this, but it’s an easy way to make money,” the girl was quoted as saying.
“Some of the girls have thousands of followers on Instagram and they must be raking it in,” she said. “I wanna be just like them.”
Bailey said it was “increasingly clear” that OnlyFans is used by children.
“The company are not doing enough to put in place the safeguards that prevent children exploiting the opportunity to generate money, but also for children to be exploited,” he said.
Further, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said missing children are now appearing on the site.
“In 2019 there were around a dozen children known to be missing being linked with content on OnlyFans,” said Staca Shehan, vice president of the center. “Last year the number of those cases nearly tripled.”
OnlyFans issued a statement to the BBC that said, “We use a combination of state-of-the-art technology together with human monitoring and review to prevent children under the age of 18 from sharing content on OnlyFans.”
“This is something that we take very seriously. We constantly review our systems to ensure they are as robust as possible,” it said.
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