Image and video sharing platform OnlyFans has reversed its controversial decision to ban sexually-explicit content, saying it has “suspended” the changes to its terms of use that would have taken effect on 1 October.

“Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard,” OnlyFans tweeted on Wednesday night.

“We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change.

“OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.”

Its decision completes a 360-degree turn for the company which began last week when OnlyFans announced radical changes to its terms of service, banning precisely the kinds of sexually-explicit content it is known for.

At the time, OnlyFans said the ban – which baffled people who thought the site exclusively dealt in adult content – was made “to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers”.

Performers who were frustrated with OnlyFans’s original ban again vented annoyance that the company was making quick announcements with limited consideration of their livelihoods.

Adult model Ari Dee described it as “mental whiplash” and said she would have preferred more direct communication from OnlyFans.

“I wish [OnlyFans] would seriously consider making it policy to email us creators information like this BEFORE stating it publicly,” she tweeted.

Others joked that OnlyFans only made its reversal after realising how severe the lack of pornographic content could impact its bottom line.

Blame the banks

Speculation abounded about the details of OnlyFans’s apparent capitulation, suggesting its trade in pornographic material made attracting investors nearly impossible, or that OnlfyFans was refusing to comply with new verification rules Mastercard is imposing on adult content merchants starting October.

But in an interview with the Financial Times this week, OnlyFans founder Tim Stokely denied both narratives.

“We’re already fully compliant with the new Mastercard rules, so that had no bearing on the decision,” he said.

“We didn’t make this policy change to make it easier to find investors.”

Instead, Stokely said banks were the biggest hurdle facing OnlyFans, naming and shaming banks like the Bank of New York Mellon which he said “flagged and rejected” money transfers which “[make] it difficult to pay our creators”.

“We pay over one million creators over US$300 million every month, and making sure that these funds get to creators involves using the banking sector,” Stokely said.

“JPMorgan Chase is particularly aggressive in closing accounts of sex workers or any business that supports sex workers.”

OnlyFans has not yet clarified how its banking situation changed in the last week – and we may need to wait for its founder to speak with another high-profile news outlet to find out – but its original decision caused a flurry of activity as content creators and viewers searched for alternative outlets.

Rapper Tyga, one of OnlyFans’s top earners, deleted his account with the intention of launching his own subscription-based adult content platform called myystar.

Others considered blockchain, NFT, and cryptocurrency-based platforms to circumvent reliance on banks and traditional payments providers for transferring money.