More than 100 Republican and Democrat members of Congress have urged the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate OnlyFans over its content involving the sexual abuse of children.
In a letter sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday, the members of Congress accused OnlyFans of being “a major marketplace for buying and selling Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) in the United States, as well as soliciting sexual activity with minors.”
“We request the U.S. Department of Justice investigate the content sold on OnlyFans.com, as well as the policies, or lack thereof, that OnlyFans employs to report instances of CSAM or child exploitation on their platform,” the letter reads in part.
“With more than 220 million monthly visitors on OnlyFans, the pervasiveness of CSAM on this website, as well as any business practices used to shield such content from scrutiny, must be investigated.”
The letter cited research by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which found “a continuously increasing amount of CSAM and child exploitation on OnlyFans.”
“In 2019, NCMEC indicated it was aware of 10 cases involving missing children associated with content sold on OnlyFans. In 2021, NCMEC has identified at least 80 cases in which missing children were linked with OnlyFans content,” the letter adds.
As part of an effort led by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., signatories of the letter included Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Chris H. Smith of New Jersey, Dan Crenshaw of Texas, Burgess Owens of Utah, and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia.
Founded in 2016 and based in London, England, OnlyFans is a social media platform that allows "artists" to produce monetized content while forging relationships with fans of their work.
“Unlike other social platforms, OnlyFans is welcoming of all creator genres and their content. The platform is designed to optimize creator engagement,” OnlyFans states on its website.
“Over 100 creators have earned over $1 million since monetizing their content on OnlyFans. The platform continues to grow as more creators are using content as a way to connect with their fans.”
In February, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation added OnlyFans to its annual Dirty Dozen list, which is comprised of 12 businesses and entities that the organization says profit off sexual exploitation.
Stephany Powell, director of Law Enforcement Training and Survivor Services at NCOSE, explained at the virtual unveiling of the list earlier this year that sexual exploitation on OnlyFans has become “normalized.”
“There is a strong indication of underage sexual exploitation,” said Powell during the February event on Zoom. “Traffickers are recruiting off of this as well and they, too, will use the opportunity to meet the creator in order to make more money.”