THE OnlyFans website has overturned its decision to ban sexually explicit content after a backlash from its “creators”.
One of them being former Atomic Kitten star Kerry Katona, who recently revealed she has cleared her debts by posting topless photos of herself on the site that charges users for access to such content.
Welcoming the about turn, Kerry says: “I think it was awful to consider banning it in the first place, particularly for those ladies who have given up their jobs to put everything into this.
“People should be allowed to do what they want with their bodies.”
Hmmm. Fair enough, you might think, when the “creator” is a 40-year-old adult like Kerry who puts up a strong argument that no one judges movie stars for being paid to appear naked on screen so why shouldn’t she charge people to see similar images of her?
But what if it is children selling sexually explicit images of themselves?
Evidence is growing that under-18s are using fake or stolen ID to set up OnlyFans accounts — a matter of great concern to child protection experts and the police.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs Council leader on child protection, says: “It is increasingly clear that OnlyFans is being used by children.
“The company is not doing enough to put in place the safeguards that prevent children exploiting the opportunity to generate money, but also for children to be exploited.”
Shocking. Yet the site’s initial plan to ban graphic content had little to do with the protection of under-age “creators” and everything to do with banks that fund it balking at allowing the financial transactions.
And now that ban has been overturned — presumably when the potential drop in profits became clear — OnlyFans has issued the following, mealy-mouthed statement: “Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard.
“We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator comm-unity and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change.
“OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.”
However, when “all creators” includes those who are vulnerable through either their age or the necessity to make money by any means possible, urgent change is needed.
The company argues that it operates within UK laws and regulations and uses age-verification software.
But, given that the evidence of under-age activity is clearly there for those who choose to look for it, plus the fact that Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza has directly asked OnlyFans to “eradicate the harm that children are experiencing” through the site, the owners really must try harder when it comes to safeguarding measures.
Otherwise, the only conclusion can be that they put profit before principles.
Paralympian is inspiration
THE next time you face a challenge in life and think, “I can’t do it,” just remember the image of table tennis star Ibrahim Hamadtou at the Paralympics.
He lost both arms in a train accident at the age of ten and, after serving with his foot, plays with the bat in his mouth.
An astonishing display of triumph over adversity that puts most of our daily woes in the shade.
Envy of sudden births
LORNA GOODINGS thought her bloated tummy was water retention caused by her contraceptive implant . . . until she went in to labour at a party and later the same day gave birth to a daughter.
“The medics said I was 38 weeks gone. I couldn’t believe it,” says Lorna, 25, from Newport Pagnell, Bucks.
You and me both dear. These “I didn’t know I was pregnant” stories always fascinate me.
I mean, how on earth can you not know that an 8lb 2oz baby is residing in your womb?
Both my kids were a similar weight and, towards the end, I had lower backache, heartburn and what felt like Michael Flatley performing Riverdance in my abdomen every night.
So when I read about women who feel a little twinge, pop to the loo and give birth to a bouncing baby they didn’t know they were expecting, incredulity kicks in.
Followed swiftly by a huge swell of envy.
Paralympian is inspiring
PEN FARTHING – the former Royal Marine who flew 170 rescue dogs and cats to safety from Afghanistan – is devastated at being forced to leave his loyal staff behind.
“We were inside, all of us inside with the right paperwork, but we were three hours too late. Biden had changed the rules,” he says, referring to the US President’s edict that only those with passports and visas be allowed on planes out.
He adds: “Now we’ve put them back into the dark ages. My young female vets – one was the face of the new Afghanistan – were having to come to work in burkas by the time I left.”
Which is why anyone who tells you that this dehumanising garment is anything but a symbol of repression is talking utter bunkum.
Boris buzz gone
A “LONG forgotten” special edition of University Challenge from 1999, starring none other than Boris Johnson, is making headlines after resurfacing on YouTube.
They could have asked me for a copy. A VHS of it has been tucked away in my attic for the past 22 years.
It was the “broadsheets vs tabloids” Christmas special, and yours truly was on the latter team along with my Sun on Sunday stablemate Tony Parsons, whose knowledge of pop culture contributed greatly to our 210-165 victory.
The other major contributor to our win was Boris himself who would occasionally hit the buzzer before the question had even been posed and thus lost the point for his broadsheet side.
But apart from that, he was ferociously intelligent, fearless (he happily argued the toss with Paxman) and, as ever, endlessly entertaining.
Now he seems increasingly burdened by the responsibilities of the “king of the world” job he wanted as a kid, one wonders how much he misses the more carefree days of his youth?
TikTok ambulance twerk rap
FOR a glimpse into the wilfully po-faced mindset of all too many on social media, look no further than the story of the two paramedics who posted a TikTok video of themselves twerking in an ambulance while on their break.
“Now I know why my nan didn’t make it,” said one person sanctimoniously.
“Shouldn’t you be saving lives?” said another. Oh puh-lease.
Paramedics save lives on a daily basis.
They work long and arduous hours and wit-ness distressing sights most of us would shy away from.
They’re just two young women enjoying them-selves during a well- deserved break.
Leave them alone.
Question time for Fiona’s hubby Nigel
TV presenter Fiona Bruce says her successful career was helped by the fact she had the same family nanny for 20 years.
“Did I spend enough time with my children?” she muses about Sam, now 23, and daughter Mia, 19.
“I think scratch the surface of any working woman and she will always think, ‘probably not’.”
Fiona, who is married to advertising executive Nigel Sharrocks, was answering a question posed by Good Housekeeping magazine about how she balances work and parenthood.
I wonder if her husband has ever been asked the same?
Elden smells money
SPENCER ELDEN is the baby swimming on the front of Nirvana’s classic Nevermind album from 1991.
Then In 2016, he recreated the pose to mark the 25th anniversary of the album, which includes the track Smells Like Teen Spirit.
But now he has decided to sue for £1.6million for the “extreme and permanent emotional distress with physical manifestations” he says he suffered as a result of the naked image being shown so widely.
Hmmm. Smells like naked opportunism to me.
FORMER Chancellor Ed Balls says he was mercilessly teased about his surname at school.
“If the other kids laughed that was fine, but when all the parents burst out laughing as well, that was pretty brutal,” he says.
So his three kids took the surname of his wife Yvette Cooper.
Fair enough. I was at school with a girl whose surname was Pratt and she always said she couldn’t wait to get married and be rid of it.
Unfortunately, she married a Burke.