Ofcom investigates OnlyFans’ age verification measures

Published: 1 May 2024
Last updated: 1 May 2024

Ofcom has today opened an investigation into whether OnlyFans is doing enough to prevent children accessing pornography on its site.

Under existing regulations that pre-date the UK’s new Online Safety Act, video-sharing platforms (VSPs) established in the UK are required to take appropriate measures to prevent under-18s from accessing pornographic material.

In response to this VSP regulation, a number of UK-based sites that host adult content – including the largest, OnlyFans – have introduced age verification measures.

However, having reviewed submissions we received from OnlyFans in response to formal information requests, we have grounds to suspect the platform did not implement its age verification measures in such a way as to sufficiently protect under-18s from pornographic material.

We are also investigating whether OnlyFans failed to comply with its duties to provide complete and accurate information in response to these statutory requests.

We will provide an update on this investigation in due course.

Extending our VSP work

While we are implementing the Online Safety Act, we continue to regulate VSPs that fall within our jurisdiction under the pre-existing regime. The UK Government will decide the date on which the VSP regime will be repealed.

Given the importance of ensuring that children are protected from pornographic material, we will continue to assess age assurance measures on adult video-sharing platforms until the VSP regime is repealed.

We will publish an update once the date of repeal has been confirmed by Government.

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