The internet is for porn

Read to the end for a really good idea for a "Dungeons & Dragons" thing

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OnlyFans Bans The Only Thing People Use It For

It was announced yesterday that in October, OnlyFans, the site that has pretty much become synonymous with amateur pornography, will no longer allow users to share “explicit content”. The announcement was honestly very confusing, with the company saying that nude photos and videos will still be allowed, as long as they aren’t explicit. Which, ok, sure. Please don’t get horny from my nudes.

According to a statement released by OnlyFans, the ban is partly due to “banking partners and payout providers”. Here’s an extremely good thread that goes further into what that actually means. Click through to the read the whole thing:

More broadly, it seems like OnlyFans is worried about being shutout by payment systems like PornHub was last year, which was part of a larger anti-porn charge led by Mastercard.

Let’s be clear: This is an objectively idiotic idea and also a massive slap in the face to the NSFW creators and sex workers who made OnlyFans into the cultural juggernaut that it has become. There are, at this point, hundreds of sites that provide content paywalls and subscriptions, but there was really only one OnlyFans. I liked how Slate phrased what they called, “the indefensible cruelty of OnlyFans’ porn ban.”

There were two big refrains on Twitter yesterday following the porn ban announcement. I want to address both because I think they’re both kind of wrong, or at least, overly simple. The first was that the OnlyFans porn ban is similar to Tumblr’s NSFW content ban from December 2018.

There have been a lot of arguments about what the long-term impact of Tumblr’s ban has been. Per The Atlantic in 2019, in the first year without NSFW content, Tumblr’s monthly traffic to the login page dropped by almost half. And SimilarWeb analytics estimated that the site lost about a third of its users. That said, the amount of blogs on the platform has doubled since 2015 and its desktop and mobile traffic, by most accounts, has only dropped by about 50 million views in the same timeframe.

And while Tumblr was a massive destination for porn GIFs, but it also had a lot of other stuff it was known for. It’s also hard to separate the porn ban from the just general mismanagement of the site by its previous owner Yahoo! OnlyFans banning porn is way crazier. It has some features that Patreon doesn’t, like pay-per-view messaging and tipping, but it’s hard to imagine that those features are enough to beat Patreon. Especially when platforms like Twitter are rolling out basically the same tools right now with an existing mainstream user base.

Another tweet I saw a lot of variations on was the “where’s the blockchain-based OnlyFans?” The answer is there are a bunch that already exist!

SpankChain uses SPANK and BOOTY crypto tokens (lol) to help sex workers with online payments and has even partnered with a webcam service called SkyPRivate. It seems interesting!

This is, essentially, exactly what cryptocurrency is meant for — taking power and influence away from centralized banking. Not to get too Bitcoin bro-y here, but if Mastercard can make OnlyFans jettison the only thing it’s known for, what other massive decisions are these companies influencing! 👀

But, there is an issue with the blockchain and pornography. A few years ago, outlets like the BBC and Washington Post ran big scary pieces that child pornography was being hidden on the blockchain. The Daily Dot at the time went crazy with this, initially headlining their piece, “If you own Bitcoin, you also own links to child porn,” which is… uh. A lot. It turns out it was all a bit overblown and if you really did want to insert child pornography into the blockchain, you would have to sift through over 200 million transactions and find lines of code that could reverse to give you a direct link to illicit material. But that doesn’t mean the blockchain and porn are a good mix.

People started minting revenge porn into NFTs earlier this year. This was done both maliciously and as part of the “NFT the DP” prank project, which used the blockchain mint dick pics. The big issue is that minting something onto the blockchain ledger is permanent! And based on everything we know about how people use user-generated pornography platforms, using the blockchain to host pornography I think would be a very bad idea.

But, all that said, there’s opportunity here. As Twitter user @dvsch pointed out yesterday, a sex worker DAO, or, “digital autonomous organization,” would be extremely powerful and, essentially, unstoppable.


A Good Video About OnlyFans


A Good Tweet


It’s Not The Metaverse Unless You Can Have Sex In It

Garbage Day
Facebook's metaverse will never be weird enough to work
Welcome to Extra Garbage Day! These Thursday issues are typically paywalled interviews with people I think are on the forefront of tech and web culture. This week I’m changing up things a little bit, let me know if you like this better or worse than the usual format…
Read more

I tried a new experiment with my paid issue for subscribers this week. Instead of the typical interview, I talked to a few very smart folks about Facebook’s big dumb Horizon Workrooms announcement yesterday. I believe this kind of content is called a “news article”. One of people I spoke to about the metaverse was Kyle Machulis, who goes by qDot on Twitter. He’s the CEO of Nonpolynominal, a company that focuses on building teledildonics infrastructure. Teledildonics is the industry of having sex remotely over the internet which is a massive part of why people actually like metaverse platforms! And it is, obviously, not something Horizon Workrooms supports (thank god tbh).

Machulis’ take on Workrooms was that it was sterile and bland and actually not really offering anything particularly exciting about the what the metaverse could provide.

“A lot of technology marketing is going to be selling the technology of five years ago to those stuck 10 years in the past,” Machulis told me. “This feels exactly like some of the stuff that we were seeing people try to do in Second Life.”

Click the embed above (and subscribe lol) if you want to check out the whole piece.


The Taliban Misinfo Storm

A week into the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, we’re now completely awash in misinfo and disinfo related to the conflict. As Twitter user @dntpreemeweirdo noted, people are now just sharing any video of Muslim men and claiming its footage of the Taliban ransacking Kabul.

Another interesting example of Taliban misinfo was spotted by disinformation researcher Erin Gallagher. Click here to see her full thread about this. She spotted a new account called @Conflict_Zones that is just posting random memes and videos and claiming they’re coming from Afghanistan.

The fact that both existing users and new accounts are popping up to share this kind of content I think is just further proof of how completely broken the incentives are inside of Twitter. All content is gameable and all news cycles are just new opportunities to grow your account. I could absolutely see this @Conflict_Zones account continuing to recycle incorrect viral content about Afghanistan until it pivots to a new buzzy international conflict before it rebrands as a relatable quotes account or something and starts selling dildos and projector lights.


To Hex Or Not Hex The Taliban

The users of r/witchcraft have been debating this week about whether or not they should mass-hex the Taliban. In one post, titled, “Mass hexing of Taliban forces,” the OP writes, “I just want as many forces as possible working against them as we can muster up.” In another post, a different OP argues the Taliban have “incantations and rituals of their own which can at the very least neutralize us.”

The attention these posts caused led the mods of r/witchcraft to lock some of the posts and it’s also been written up by places like The Daily Dot.

I, honestly, don’t know enough about magic spells to weigh in on whether or not Reddit witches should hex the Taliban, but if you’re interested in continuing to follow this, some of the witches have set up a new subreddit called r/BewitchTheTaliban.


Please Don’t Share The DC Bomb Threat Livestream For Twitter Clout

Speaking of how all news on Twitter is treated by the site’s users as new opportunities to grow their accounts — which will become only more intense as the site rolls out monetization features while doing nothing to change the structure of their Trending Topics — here’s a good reminder for when the next Facebook-brained would-be domestic terrorist starts livestreaming themselves:


…The Income Vacation TikTok Spreadsheet

Chances are you’ve already seen this video. If you haven’t, it’s absolutely deranged. In the video, the TikTok user, whose name is Tom Cruz, explains how all of this friends use an excel sheet to rank their income and vacation budgets. It should be no surprise to anyone that Cruz is a part of landlord TikTok. According to his TikTok bio, he owns over 380 rental properties. He seems fairly unfazed by the unbelievable amount of outrage his video generated on Twitter and is actually making a Twitter account to have a presence on the site. Cool!


An Update About Miette

If you don’t know about author Patricia Lockwood’s cat Miette, here’s a good Know Your Meme article to catch you up to speed. She’s a pretty important part of web culture and has basically defined how people now think cats talk.

Anyways, Miette recently got sick and Lockwood livetweeted the whole thing. It turns out she ate a lizard and got super high. I’m glad she’s safe and hopefully she won’t have any long-term issues from her epic amount of ego death this week. Clickthrough on the tweet above to read the whole thing!


An Absolutely Tremendous TikTok


Some Stray Links


P.S. here’s a really good idea for a Dungeons & Dragons thing.

***Any typos in this email are on purpose actually***