ABC News Runs Shamefully Unbalanced Special On OnlyFans Porn Platform

ABC News Runs Shamefully Unbalanced Special On OnlyFans Porn Platform

ABC News dedicated ample resources to producing its new special report on OnlyFans. Given the porn platform’s massive popularity, ABC was wise to investigate it. The result of the investigation, however, is a journalistic abomination that endorses “sex work” without any serious pushback, framing OnlyFans as a feminist achievement.

Not only is the report a shameless breach of journalistic neutrality, it’s an unqualified endorsement of DIY pornography—and in the midst of a bad economy, helping OnlyFans capitalize on working-class desperation by enabling and encouraging more and more people to prostitute themselves from the comfort of their own homes. The internet is forever, and snap decisions made to pay rent don’t just fade away.

OnlyFans normalizes and proliferates pornography, making it easy for members of the public to create and sell pornographic pictures and videos of themselves. (All of which I think should be perfectly legal, even as it remains immoral.) Many creators, like the young people profiled in ABC’s report, make enough money on the platform to live very comfortably.

As ABC rightly points out, OnlyFans is not just for porn. Some creators use it for different reasons. But, of course, OnlyFans is a hub for people who want to make money by creating their own pornographic content. It gives all of us the ability to prostitute ourselves at the touch of a button.

ABC clearly frames that as empowerment. The featured experts, which include academics and activists and comedian Nikki Glaser, all largely agree on this point. That’s unfortunate not only because it’s a bad perspective, but because plenty of people on both the left and the right have strong counterarguments to offer.

The only real counterpoint raised in the report is that OnlyFans creators can subject themselves to harassment and that the platform allows privileged celebrities to build their brands at a cost to everyday publishers. One of the creators says he won’t go full nude to avoid losing out on future jobs. There’s really no problem with ABC featuring any of these people, but to do so without also featuring any progressive or conservative voices willing to say OnlyFans (and pornography more broadly) is exploitive and dangerous is just bad journalism.

Speaking of which, one of the OnlyFans creators profiled in the documentary is young mechanic Kirsten Vaughn. Vaughn made headlines last spring after she was fired from Don Ayres Honda in Fort Wayne, Ind. Vaughn claimed she was fired for having an OnlyFans page. A sympathetic Buzzfeed News story at the time buried the relevant detail that Vaughn was fired after taking pictures for OnlyFans in her work uniform and in the company restroom nearly 30 paragraphs deep. ABC’s special didn’t even mention that. The report skeptically quoted a statement from the dealership asserting that Vaughn violated their policies, but totally omitted the obvious way she may have done that.

When I emailed ABC News to ask why they left that information out of their report, the network never responded. Here are the other questions they declined to answer.

2. Why did the program feature zero perspectives against the pornographic work OnlyFans facilitates and monetizes? There are plenty of counter-arguments from both the feminist perspective and the conservative perspective.

3. Why was there little to no discussion of exploitation or the mounting debate over porn addiction?

4. Did the journalists involved in producing this program talk to any former porn stars who regret their work or have suffered physically or psychologically because of it?

5. Why not mention how wealthy tech entrepreneurs are getting rich off the bodies of working class people like Vaughn?

The last question is what makes this story particularly depressing. Wealthy elites love normalizing ostensibly progressive ideas, many of which they would never personally engage in, by wrapping them in intellectual babble. But they have no perspective or regard for how that normalization affects the broader culture, where impressionable kids and disenfranchised people are looking for avenues to make easy money, and don’t have time to navel-gaze on the nature of sexual empowerment or read Judith Butler.

Vaughn and her DIY pornography peers have agency. They are in charge of their own lives. They are capable of making informed decisions. That does not, however, mean those decisions were entirely uninfluenced by the facile secularism promulgated by elites.

ABC News is not Salon. OnlyFans is not uncontroversial. Nevertheless, tasked with the job of producing a major report on the platform, ABC’s team presented it

Originally Posted on: https://thefederalist.com/2021/02/13/abc-news-runs-shamefully-unbalanced-special-on-onlyfans-porn-platform/
By: Emily Jashinsky

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