PayPal doesn't like OnlyFans

somewhere between the internet, censorship, and finance

I’m probably going to end up talking about OnlyFans a lot. It’s pretty interesting. 

This from Elle explains the recent surge in the already rising platform: “OnlyFans, Influencers, And The Politics Of Selling Nudes During A Pandemic”:

OnlyFans is just another logical extension of how creators are monetizing and personalizing their labor. In recent years, free podcasters turned to Patreon over using ads; freelance journalists began creating paid Substack newsletters over taking sparse assignments; YouTube gamers moved their business to Twitch. But, just like any platform, the creators are at the whims of the VCs who invested in them, and if the fees don’t add up, will have to find another place to be hosted. Viners had to become TikTokkers, and if OnlyFans tanks, adult entertainers face lost fan bases and disappearing archives. 

It also covers the recent drama with mainstream influencer Caroline Calloway getting on the platform, which seems to be marking a turning point for the social acceptance of selling sexual photos of oneself online. 

So we’ve got millions of people selling nudes. And for the most part people seem fine with it, if not supportive. One group that is not fine with nudes are the centralized payment processors. 

Here’s PayPal: 

We permit U.S.-only transactions for certain sexually oriented physical goods that are physically delivered to the customer. Videos, DVDs, and magazines are examples of physical goods. (We don’t allow transactions for such goods outside the U.S.)

We don’t permit PayPal account holders to buy or sell:

  • Sexually oriented digital goods or content delivered through a digital medium. Downloadable pictures or videos and website subscriptions are examples of digital goods.

  • Sexually oriented goods or services that involve, or appear to involve, minors.

  • Services whose purpose is to facilitate meetings for sexually oriented activities.

So no nudes online. The second and third items are actually illegal. But liability is the name of the game when it comes to financial regulation. It’s a lot safer to cut off whole communities with an axe than to use a scalpel to target illegal activity. 

At the moment the only way for OnlyFan’s creators in the US to withdraw funds is ACH to a bank account. But bank accounts are not a steady thing for those in the adult world. 

Read more: The Banks’ War on Porn

Covid-19 Behind Bars is an independent journalism project that tracks the spread of the virus in prisons. Unfortunately, links to that page were recently flagged by Twitter as virus misinformation. 

It seems to have been corrected, but only after some big accounts signal boosted the problems. 

This website publishes 3D printed gun files. They are legal. It also uses PayPal to sell patches and stickers. Those are also legal. 

PayPal suspended their account. 

This store was lucky to have withdrawn its cash before this happened. Typically money can be locked up for months or years after one of these suspensions. 

This guy found a wad of money in his house and asked his central bank what to do. 

The bank had an answer that I’ll admit is pretty funny. 

That wad of bills is worthless paper now. Last year the Kenyan central bank invalidated all 1000 Kenyan Shilling notes in circulation. This was done to combat financial crime. A similar thing happened in India with its demonetisation not too long ago. 

Someone made Amazon for Animal Crossing

Of course a bunch of people immediately jumped on this bit of the story:

I thought Animal Crossing was supposed to be an escape from modern life. But you’ve got mortgages, Central Banks tampering with rates, and hyperinflation. I’ll stick to blowing things up.