OnlyFans Creators Call for Boycott Over Owner’s AIPAC Ties

onlyfans boycott aipac


In the aftermath of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack against Israel, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, pulled in a massive fundraising haul. According to a February report from The Lever, Leonid Radvinsky, the billionaire owner of OnlyFans, and his wife pledged $11 million to the powerhouse influence group, making him the group’s top donor. 

While Radvinsky denied making such a donation, some OnlyFans creators have taken issue with the notion that the revenue they generate for the platform is potentially being transferred to the coffers of the powerful pro-Israel lobby. 

AIPAC recently launched a $100 million effort to defeat pro-Palestinian candidates in the 2024 election cycle, and has been heavily lobbying Congress to maintain unconditional support for Israel’s war in Gaza, where more than 31,000 Palestinians have been killed. Last week, during AIPAC’s annual policy conference, the American Prospect reported that the group was supplying supporters with dubious talking points to use to lobby lawmakers, including false claims about how people aren’t starving in Gaza and Israel isn’t blocking aid shipments. 

Sex workers have long struggled to mitigate abuse and exploitation within their industry. While sites like OnlyFans can theoretically be useful tools for sex workers and content creators to gain more autonomy and control over their work and client selection, many feel the platform’s near-unchallenged dominance of the market of subscription cyber sex has led to neglect and ill-treatment by management. Long frustrated with the lack of tools, resources, and security OnlyFans provides to the sex workers who dominate its content, Radvinsky’s alleged donations to AIPAC were the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for the fed-up creators who are now calling for a strike and boycott. 

BodyXBlunts, a creator who has chosen to leave OnlyFans and is involved in the organization of the boycott, tells Rolling Stone that sex workers and adult content creators have every reason to empathize with Palestinians in their own struggle. 

“As an activist, as a sex worker, we want decriminalization because we want safety. They want safety and freedom. If we can’t understand that, who can? To be in solidarity with them is easy. It takes no brain power, it takes no hard willpower, it doesn’t and hasn’t. Not since this happened, not at all.” 

According to Molly Simmons, a creator who recently left OnlyFans and has become a leading figure in the boycott, “hundreds” of creators have joined the exodus — and organizers are hoping for many more. 

Creators who have joined the boycott in the aftermath of The Lever’s report have relied on word of mouth, direct outreach, and social media sites like X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram to promote their call to action. “We are an autonomous group of sex workers and content creators calling for a dual strike and boycott of the OnlyFans platform in protest of their owner’s financial support of the Palestinian genocide,” a document produced by the boycott’s leaders says. “For sex workers and content creators, we are urging that you migrate to alternative fan sites and subscription services for your work. For clients and fans, we are urging that you delete your OnlyFans account and support your favorite creators on their alternative fan sites.” 

Simmons tells Rolling Stone that she “totally [understands] why someone who makes like $100,000 on OnlyFans is not going to give up that income, but that’s the vast, vast minority of people. The average OnlyFans user makes $2,000 a year.” In her view, the key to convincing creators to divest from OnlyFans isn’t just the questionable politics of its owner but the fact that the platform itself is trash. 

“Whether it’s their genius marketing or divine intervention, [OnlyFans] has become the household name, even though OnlyFans as a platform — Zionism aside — sucks,” she says. “It’s the worst one. It’s terrible.” 

Radvinsky took over OnlyFans in 2018. Under his mantel, the platform has a long, contentious history of mistreating sex workers and adult content creators that represent a significant — if not dominant — portion of its content. The 20-percent fee it takes from creators’ earnings is already a lot, but in 2021 Radvinsky briefly attempted to purge NSFW content from the site entirely, leaving creators under a cloud of worry that the most popular platform for their line of work can boot them with little notice.

Radvinsky did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Rolling Stone, 

As previously reported by Rolling Stone, seasoned digital NSFW creators have been proactively spreading out their content on alternative platforms for some time now in case OnlyFans shuts them out. But with the Covid-19 pandemic fostering a surge of new creators, many were unprepared for temporary bans, and advocates within the community felt it was high time to help sex workers implement safeguards against digital eviction. “Everyone in the field needs to have digital platforms that they own,” Cameron Glover, a coach for sexuality professionals, told Rolling Stone in 2021. “This means having your own website and mailing list where you’re regularly directing followers, fans, and community members to add themselves. It’s also important to think about the structure of your business: What are you doing? How can you create ways for that to be done without you being physically present and build demand for your work?” 

In their mission statement, the boycott’s organizers call out the many pitfalls of OnlyFans, including “low video quality, poor support, no clip store, [and] no loyalty referral program,” adding that “sex workers are used to having multiple platforms in order to avoid deletion, surveillance, and to maximize profit. What we’re doing now is asking you to take that leap. If you’ve been thinking about switching platforms, now’s the time.” 

“Not only does it make a difference for the Palestinian people, but it will also help us move away from a whorephobic platform that does nothing but profit off us while offering no real support, features, or benefit in return,” the call to action says.  

“We’ve been doing a lot of direct outreach to mid-sized creators, we’ve been putting out the call, and we’ve been doing some individual outreach to bigger creators to try to get them to share,” Simmons says

BodyXBlunts says that a lot of the work being done revolves around helping users create content migration plans. “I wanted to make free resources,” they say of working with creators seeking tech support on how to successfully move their content to alternative platforms like LoyalFans, ManyVids, and Sunroom. 

“I don’t think people realize the collective bargaining power or the collective power we have as workers,” they add. “They need our money because when we get that payout, they get a split. If we are migrating our following [to other platforms at even] 10 percent a month until the end of the year, they are going to hurt that will hurt them.”  

Like Simmons, BodyXBlunts views Radvinsky’s alleged contributions to AIPAC as an extension of a much bigger problem with the way OnlyFans relates to the creators who generate its revenue: “Even if they’re not tuned in to everything that’s happening in Palestine, [creators] know how badly they’ve been treated in the past. And the inconsistency of that is not something any other business would put up with if they had other options.” 

It’s difficult to get a clear picture of the strike’s impact. OnlyFans — as creators who spoke to Rolling Stone point out — provides only the most rudimentary search tools for users and creators, often forcing them to use third-party platforms in order to connect with followers and fellow entertainers. 

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“Unfortunately, it’s not like it’s not like instant results,” Simmons says. “because it takes people, days, weeks, sometimes months to migrate all their data and transfer all their users over [to other platforms].” 

“We’re committed to keep on spreading the word for as long as we need to,” she adds. “You don’t always get to see the big drastic results. Sometimes it’s a movement that lives on in perpetuity, and we’re going to constantly be doing the work to educate people away from this.” 



Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/onlyfans-boycott-owner-aipac-pledge-1234989667/

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