A blow to sex work: OnlyFans creator charged for transmitting obscene material electronically

By Soon Minh



A 22-year-old man was charged with transmitting “obscene materials” via the online platform OnlyFans. Under section 292 of the Penal Code, he could be jailed for three months or fined [1] for sending explicit content such as pictures and videos.


Although distributing and importing pornographic material is illegal in Singapore, [2] this is believed to be the first case of an OnlyFans creator being prosecuted over-sharing obscene materials so far. [3]


Additionally, the man initially failed to comply with orders not to access his account, resulting in a second warning from the police. [4]


The Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) has banned adult websites in order to “prevent young children and the youth from accidentally (or even purposefully) accessing these websites”. However, given that the OnlyFans site is accessible only to subscribers, the creator posted mostly materials of himself, and claimed all of his subscribers were “consensual adults”, [5] it is hard to see what exactly the purpose of prosecuting the creator is.


This could potentially lead to more OnlyFans users being charged, exacerbating the difficulties faced by other sex workers during the pandemic. [6]





References:

[1] https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/onlyfans-influencer-arrested-singapore-1277601/

[2] https://singaporelegaladvice.com/law-articles/what-is-the-law-on-pornography-in-singapore/

[3] https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/man-22-to-be-charged-for-sharing-obscene-photos-videos-on-onlyfans-online-platform

[4] https://mothership.sg/2021/12/titus-low-charged/

[5] Ibid.

[6] https://www.ricemedia.co/current-affairs-features-dominatrix-drag-queen-sex-worker-covid-19-jobs/