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Bella Thorne
courtesy of Instagram/@bellathorne

OnlyFans responds to sex workers’ tip limit change and Bella Thorne anger

The platform claims that new transaction limits ‘are not based on any one user’ despite content creators’ claims that the actress inspired the changes

OnlyFans states that its new limits placed on pay-per-view (or PPV) transactions “are set to help prevent overspending and to allow our users to continue to use the site safely,” in a statement shared with Dazed. However, the platform states it will “continue to review these limits,” adding that it values the (largely critical) user feedback that has been shared since the change was implemented.

“We can confirm that any changes to transaction limits are not based on any one user,” OnlyFans adds, seemingly in response to claims that Bella Thorne had inspired the restriction on the pricing of PPV posts and tips.

Earlier this month, Bella Thorne became the latest celebrity to join OnlyFans, following in the footsteps of Cardi B and a number of other musicians. Subsequently, the app confirmed that the 22-year-old actress had broken its record for the most money earned in a day, topping $1 million.

However, many sex workers and other creators on OnlyFans, who often rely on the platform for a significant part of their income, criticised Thorne for not considering the effects of her actions on the app.

Specifically, a $200 PPV message she shared – which she allegedly claimed contained a nude photo, but actually contained a photo of her in lingerie similar to images on her Instagram – has been linked by users to the new limits, which cap PPV prices at $50 and maximum tips at $100. As some OnlyFans content creators have pointed out, this significantly affects their income because they rely on making larger amounts of money inconsistently. Cutting the amount they can earn from one PPV to $50 makes this model much less feasible.

The amount of time funds made on the app are pending has also been raised from seven days to 30 days in the new changes, which means hundreds of thousands of content creators – some of whom will be living paycheque to paycheque – will essentially receive their money monthly, rather than weekly.

Thorne has also been accused of riding on the coattails of sex workers while not having to deal with the stigma they often face, or rely on sex work as a mode of income. 

“She didn’t think about us as real people or about sex work as a real job,” says OnlyFans user Erika Heidewald, in a Twitter thread shared August 28, in which she also claims: “She scammed people, which leads to the spread of a dangerous and unfair stereotype that sex workers are scammers even though every content creator I know works their ass off and cares about providing value.”

Bella Thorne, who previously suggested that she partly joined the site to research a new film with Sean Baker – the director behind Tangerine and The Florida Project – has now acknowledged the effect she had on other OnlyFans users, while claiming that her intention was to: “Remove the stigma behind sex, sex work, and the negativity that surrounds the word SEX itself by bringing a mainstream face to it.”

“I wanted to bring attention to the site, the more people on the site the more likely of a chance to normalize the stigmas,” she writes in the August 29 tweet. “And in trying to do this I hurt you.”

“Ps. I’m meeting with only fans (sic) about the new restrictions to find out why!!!” Thorne adds, requesting ideas or concerns to bring up during the proposed meeting. Many have pointed out in the comments, though, that Thorne’s apparent ability to organise a meeting after less than two weeks on the platform just seems to prove where its priorities lie.