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U.K. regulator Ofcom probes OnlyFans for failure to protect minors from explicit content

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U.K. media regulator Ofcom has opened an investigation into OnlyFans to assess whether the platform is effectively preventing children from accessing pornographic content. The investigation is in line with the Online Safety Act, which was passed recently in the U.K., and requires video-sharing platforms (VSPs) to take appropriate measures to prevent minors from accessing adult content.

The new law gives Ofcom the power to investigate companies that do not comply with the law and regulations that require VSPs to take appropriate measures that were already present before. The Online Safety Act is set to replace the previous VSP regulations, but until it is fully implemented, Ofcom continues to monitor and enforce existing rules.

In response to the law, many adult content hosting sites, including OnlyFans, have introduced age verification measures in the U.K. However, Ofcom claims that there have been various concerns raised where it suspects that the platform did not implement its age verification measures to "sufficiently protect under-18s" from adult content. Ofcom is also examining whether OnlyFans has "fulfilled its obligations to provide accurate information in response to statutory requests."

OnlyFans verifies the age of its users in the U.K. by requiring them to provide a government-issued document, such as an ID, driving license, or passport, that shows their date of birth. The company also verifies user identities to ensure all users are real persons over 18. Verification is mandatory for both creators and subscribers on the platform.

To make things easier, OnlyFans has also collaborated with Yoti, a digital identity platform that allows users to verify their identity online. Once the verification is done, users can share the details with other companies.

Ofcom's investigation is part of a broader effort to safeguard minors from inappropriate content until the older VSP regulations are repealed. The U.K. government is still determining a date to repeal the old law.

Via Reuters

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