OnlyFans investigated by Ofcom over children accessing pornography

Ofcom is investigating Onlyfans. Credit: PA

Onlyfans is being investigated over whether its age verification system is robust enough to prevent children from accessing pornography on the subscription site.

Regulator Ofcom said it has opened formal proceedings against the UK-based platform over concerns around the implementation of age verification measures designed to protect under-18s from inappropriate material.

Under existing rules that pre-date the UK’s new Online Safety Act, video-sharing platforms established in the UK are required to take appropriate action to prevent those aged under 18 from accessing pornographic material.

In response to this, OnlyFans, like other sites hosting adult content, has introduced age verification measures.

However, Ofcom said that having reviewed submissions from OnlyFans in response to formal information requests, it has “grounds to suspect” the platform did not implement its age verification measures in such a way as to sufficiently protect under-18s.

Ofcom said it is also investigating whether the site failed to comply with its duties to provide complete and accurate information in response to these requests.

A spokesperson for OnlyFans said: “As the leading UK-based and regulated social media platform, OnlyFans works closely with Ofcom to implement and develop best practices on online safety, including the use of age-assurance technology.

Ofcom is investigating if Onlyfans's does enough to keep under 18s off its site. Credit: PA

“In addition to requiring that all users provide their name and payment card details, OnlyFans uses the Government-approved age assurance provider Yoti.

“A coding configuration issue with Yoti led to a reporting error which stated a threshold was set to 23 years of age, during a period of time when it had been set to 20 – always higher than the requirement of 18.

“OnlyFans discovered the reporting error and proactively amended our report to Ofcom.”

Ofcom said it will provide an update on its investigation in due course.

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