LONDON — British financial newspaper City A.M. is reporting that OnlyFans CEO Ami Gan “framed OnlyFans as an ‘ally’ to the upcoming Online Safety Bill” in an unprecedented, wide-ranging interview with the paper.
The proposed U.K. legislation, unveiled by the Boris Johnson government amidst a media-propelled moral panic about “the harms of pornography,” has been criticized by digital rights advocates as a state attempt to censor free speech.
As XBIZ reported in late March, when the conservative government unveiled its proposed draft, the Johnson ministers focused on “pornography” as the main supposed “online harm,” claiming the bill would “protect children from harmful content such as pornography and limit people’s exposure to illegal content, while protecting freedom of speech.”
The lengthy announcement about the proposed legislation declared that the bill’s main mission is for “Parliament to approve what types of ‘legal but harmful’ content platforms must tackle.”
Though termed a “constitutional monarchy,” the U.K. has no written constitution and no equivalents to the U.S. Bill of Rights, First Amendment or codified Section 230 protections.
Online moderation and digital rights experts have expressed a multitude of concerns about the bill, including social media law expert Dr. Laura Higson-Bliss, who spoke to the BBC’s Science Focus magazine in April, questioning the wisdom of giving the politically-appointed staff at communications regulator Ofcom “the power to govern what we say online.”
Rebranding OnlyFans as a Financial ‘Success Story’
In an attempt to rebrand OnlyFans as a financial-establishment-friendly “success story,” Gan told City A.M. that the platform is “proof that online safety, freedom of expression and being a successful business can coexist.”
According to the article, Gan also criticized “fellow social media firms who claim this holy trinity is unattainable.”
The City A.M. report described Gan — the former OnlyFans publicist who suddenly took over from previous CEO Tim Stokely in December — as “a fresh face for a company that is synonymous with adult content” and “a distinct shift from the man The Sunday Times dubbed as ‘the king of homemade porn.’”
Gan told City A.M. her company is “a leader in online safety” and “pushed back against allegations that the platform has failed to prevent underage users from selling and appearing in explicit videos.”
Gan told the financial publication that the notorious incident last year when the company announced it was banning adult creators, only to backtrack after a grassroots campaign by sex workers, was a learning experience that “showed the ‘power of the community’ for the company and affirmed creator-first direction they needed to be taking.”
Gan added that OnlyFans is “‘very proud’ of its glamour and adult content community, and confirmed it was something that won’t be going anywhere any time soon.”
Main Image: OnlyFans CEO Amrapali “Ami” Gan