SINGAPORE — Singapore will not be banning controversial content subscription website OnlyFans, even as police have charged social media influencer Titus Low for posting obscene content on the platform.
Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said in a written reply on Wednesday (12 January) that realistically, it is not possible to block all objectionable or obscene content on the Internet.
Singapore therefore has to look beyond banning and take a holistic approach to deal with such content, she added.
She was responding to a parliamentary question by Nominated Member of Parliament Dr Shahira Abdullah on whether whether her ministry will consider banning OnlyFans, an overseas-based online service that allows content creators to post content and receive payment directly from their followers.
The platform has generated controversy due to widespread use by influencers and sex workers to publish and retail raunchy and explicit content to their subscribers.
"Not all content posted on OnlyFans is objectionable, but we must ensure that such content creation platforms do not expose Singaporeans to the risk of exploitation and abuse, especially our youth," Teo said in her written reply.
"The government closely monitors developments in this regard and will take regulatory action where appropriate."
1st prosecution involving OnlyFans content creator
OnlyFans' terms of service require users to be at least 18 years old and prohibit creators from posting egregious content, such as revenge porn. The public may report suspected violations of the terms of service directly to the platform.
It is also illegal under Singapore’s Penal Code to transmit any obscene material by electronic means, or participate in, advertise, or receive profits from any business where obscene materials are transmitted by electronic means.
Low, 22, was arrested last month for uploading sexually-explicit photographs and videos on his OnlyFans account. His case is believed to be the first prosecution in Singapore involving an OnlyFans content creator.
Teo said in her written reply that there are collective efforts by various Singapore organisations to help build a "well-informed and discerning citizenry that can guard against online harms".
For example, schools conduct cyber-wellness lessons where students learn to identify and avoid inappropriate online content, while the Media Literacy Council works with partners to promote safe and responsible online behaviour through resources and public education activities.
In July 2021, the Ministry of Communications and Information also launched the Sunlight Alliance for Action to tackle online harms, especially those targeted at women and girls.
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