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Congresswoman Ann Wagner Leads Bipartisan Coalition Calling for DOJ to Investigate OnlyFans for Child Exploitation

Wagner and 101 Members of Congress requested DOJ investigate the prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse Material, missing or abducted children, and potential solicitation involving content sold on the website

Washington, D.C.  – Today, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO), Chair of the House Suburban Caucus, led a letter with 101 of her Republican and Democratic colleagues to the United States Department of Justice.  This letter calls on Attorney General Merrick Garland to conduct an investigation into the website, focusing on the prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) on the website and the specific actions OnlyFans takes to ensure minors are protected from exploitation. The presence of CSAM on OnlyFans is undeniable and it appears OnlyFans does not have adequate safeguards or protocols in place to notify the proper authorities when CSAM is found on the website.

The Members said: “With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing our kids to spend more time isolated and online, it is our responsibility to ensure children are protected from bad actors operating via the internet. Of particular concern is the website, which has become a major marketplace for buying and selling Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) in the United States, as well as soliciting sexual activity with minors. We write today to call your attention to potentially illegal activity, including child sexual exploitation, that this website is facilitating. We request the U.S. Department of Justice investigate the content sold on, as well as the policies, or lack thereof, that OnlyFans employs to report instances of CSAM or child exploitation on their platform.”

“With the rise in child sexual abuse material online, the U.S. Department of Justice should investigate the growing number of reports by law enforcement and child safety organizations that minors are being sold on OnlyFans. Instances of sex trafficking and image-based abuse through OnlyFans are also coming to light. Like the other major companies in the commercial sex industry – Pornhub, XVideos, XHamster – OnlyFans preys and profits from abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people, and potential criminality must be investigated,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE).

“Online platforms profiting from user content subscriptions must be aware of the inherent risks this model presents to children without appropriate safeguards in place. Children and user safety should not be an afterthought, but a priority of online platforms from launch to current day. Online platforms must utilize sound business practices to help assure they are doing everything possible to prevent child sexual exploitation on their site. Content subscription platforms should prioritize children and user safety as much as they value their bottom line.” said the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

"The alarming increase of child sexual abuse material and human trafficking being promoted on the platform requires immediate attention by the U.S. Department of Justice, state and local law enforcement, and payment providers whose products are being used to purchase troubling content on this platform" said Lena Walther, Co-Founder of Awareness is Prevention. "I commend congressional leaders from both parties for encouraging greater scrutiny of through this letter and strongly urge a thorough investigation at the highest level of law enforcement," she continued. 

The full letter is below, and you can see the complete list of Members here.