Nearly two months after Russia invaded Ukraine, Russia’s online creators are finding themselves increasingly limited in the platforms they can use to make content and make money. Thursday brought more bad news: Creators were cut off from OnlyFans after the company said it could “no longer properly serve our Russian creator community.”
As reported on Thursday by Vice, OnlyFans — a platform best known for adult content and the sex workers who create it — is pausing creator accounts where payments are received in Russia due to sanctions on payments to and from the country. The U.S. and other countries have placed a variety of financial restrictions on Russia to punish it for invading Ukraine. While it is still possible to send money to Russia via cryptocurrency or prepaid cards, it’s still not exactly easy.
OnlyFans told Gizmodo in an emailed statement on Friday that impacted creators are being instructed to contact its support team with any questions about their accounts.
“OnlyFans is a creator first business. Over the past few months we have explored several options to continue providing our services to creators impacted by the Russia / Ukraine war. However due to a further tightening of payment restrictions to and from Russia, OnlyFans can no longer properly serve our Russian creator community,” the company said. “As a result, we are taking steps to temporarily pause accounts where payments are received in Russia.”
This isn’t the first time OnlyFans has limited access to creators in Russia. When Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in late February, the platform locked creators out from their accounts, leaving them unable to access their earnings. At the time, the company told users that their country was “not supported for payouts,” Rolling Stone found. Days later, OnlyFans restored the accounts, telling the outlet that they would maintain full functionality as long as it continued “to have payment methods to support them.”
Judging by the company’s latest announcement, it seems those payment methods have run out.
The moves by OnlyFans and other platforms — such as YouTube, which suspended its ads business in Russia — have dismayed creators in the country, some of which depend on the platforms for a significant portion of their incomes. One pair of Russian OnlyFans and Pornhub creators, known as Bisexcouplefamilyfree, who spoke to Vice stressed that not everyone in Russia supports the war.
Bisexcouplefamilyfree, for instance, has been using content to protest the war.
“We can’t work for OnlyFans now,” the creators said. “We have been working on this platform for a year, and now we have to start all over again. It is a pity that all Russians are now perceived as enemies. But not everyone supports the war. And many continue to express their position, despite the fact that it is dangerous in Russia.”