The crowdsourcing platform for the continual financing for creatives, artists and performers seems to be shutting down for adult and sexual entertainment. According to Motherboard magazine, numerous accounts were closed due to alleged violations of the company’s policies. The change in the guidelines last year led to great uncertainty among content providers and thus to a great exodus of adult performers to competitors such as FanCentro.
Those affected report that their accounts have been blocked due to »implied nudity« in freely accessible areas of the website and on banners. This would mean that Patreon still tolerates erotic and sexual content and wants to earn money with it, but the actors and performers remain unclear which of the guidelines are consistently pursued and which not. An open-ended balancing act for many who make a living on the platform and have gained their fan base through Patreon.
Patreon told Motherboard that they had simply started to »proactive review of content« in order to meet the requirements of the payment processors cooperating with Patreon. In other words, the platform is afraid of losing its partnerships with Paypal and other major payment service providers if the guidelines regarding adult content are not followed more strictly.
According to the guideline changes last year, performers and content producers are prohibited from collecting donations for the production of pornographic content, including the development or operation of a website, but also the offering of private webcam sessions – an important service for many performers.
Patreon refers to the guidelines: »Our community guidelines have not changed, and when we discover a page that is not in compliance with our guidelines we place that page in a state of suspension and work directly with the creator to bring them back within our guidelines.« How this is supposed to be possible with erotic services, however, is extremely questionable. Originally and up to now the money raised by adult performers was welcome and helped the platform grow.
Patreon added: »We have also doubled the size of our support team to ensure we get back to creators and give them one-on-one guidance as fast as humanly possible.«
Beyond the smooth PR language, livelihoods are at risk. One of the companies affected by the cleanup to appease the payment processors is the Four Chambers production studio. The founder of the company, Vex Ashley, announced via Twitter that his Patreon page was closed. »Just to be clear what is at stake, this is my whole income, my livelihood. I have been full time working on Four Chambers exclusively for around three years now. I have devoted my whole self to the project and I am going to have to try to start again from scratch.«
However, other performers report that Patreon’s support team can really help to reactivate accounts. Nicole Vaunt, who uses Patreon as an erotic model, has removed any nudity from her public pages on Patreon. And according to her, she didn’t have any more problems.
Nevertheless, she is worried: »But I’m honestly scared of losing my livelihood at any minute. Once Four Chambers was deleted it felt like the canary in the coal mine for all of us. This recent influx of suspensions and removals is a slippery slope.«
So Patreon keeps the majority of his producers in limbo. This is an unsustainable situation that will certainly bring even more of Patreon’s XXX performers to its competitors in the crowdsourcing community.