A Christian social policy charity has raised concerns that the adult streaming platform OnlyFans is perpetuating modern day slavery.
CARE warns the subscription-based service is directly fuelling the sexual exploitation of women.
It comes after new research has revealed a growing number of criminals are using the site to forcibly 'e-pimp' women.
The report from Michelle Rasch of cyber-crime and data security company DataExpert reveals that the platform and others of its kind are facilitating a new type of exploitation towards those working within prostitution, under the guise of “OnlyFans managers.”
Dr Rebecca Stevenson, a Policy Officer at CARE, told Premier people are being forced to do things against their will: “E-pimping has come out of the use of online streaming platforms like OnlyFans and it's really concerning.
“These pimps have access to all of their models' accounts, they have access to their money, and they have access to explicit material, which they then use to blackmail these women.”
Stevenson says more needs to be done to monitor and prevent criminal behaviour on the platform:
“Alarmingly, there appears to be little effort by OnlyFans to detect and prevent this kind of exploitation – there’s simply too much content to monitor. Given the design of the platform, where content is behind a paywall, it is also difficult for authorities to investigate.”
CARE has campaigned for greater child and adult protection through the Online Safety Act. The Bill, which has received Royal Assent, aims to make the UK the safest place to be online by law and includes provisions for compulsory age checks for all users seeking to access online pornography on both porn sites and social media platforms.
“It's important that we keep holding government to account” Stevenson says, “whether that's through writing to your MPs, or whether that's talking to your local councillors, and ensuring that they continue to examine this highly concerning issue.”
“Talk to your kids,” she added. “Ask them about OnlyFans. Ask them what they're looking at so you're aware of what they're doing and that they're safe from these kinds of harms.”