A total of 102 United States bi-partisan members of Congress expressed their desire to have the United Kingdom-based content subscription website OnlyFans investigated by the Department of Justice over child abuse.
The Christian Post reported that the said members of Congress sent a letter on Tuesday addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging an investigation on the content of the website that is said to have 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."
In the letter, the members of Congress called the "attention" of the Department of Justice to the "potentially illegal activity" happening in the website that involves "minors."
"We request the U.S. Department of Justice investigate the content sold on OnlyFans.com, as well as the policies, or lack thereof, that OnlyFans employs to report instances of CSAM or child exploitation on their platform," the members of Congress pointed out.
"The presence of CSAM on OnlyFans is undeniable. Over the past two years, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has seen a continuously increasing amount of CSAM and child exploitation in OnlyFans," they stressed.
The representatives cited that the NCMEC has identified 10 cases of missing children associated with the said website for 2019 that ballooned to a minimum of 80 cases in 2021. They also highlighted that OnlyFans has been named as "one of the top contributors to online sexual exploitation in the United States" by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
According to the legislators, the said website does not have the necessary "mechanisms" to report to authorities the presence of CSAM in their website considering it has 220 million visitors a month. The case of two adults from Florida in possession of a video containing a child in "sexual performance" that was promoted in OnlyFans was highlighted in the letter as proof of its inadequacy of reporting mechanisms. The video was reported by the child's friend to the police that led to the arrest of the two adults for human trafficking.
The legislators ended their letter specifying three areas they would like the Department of Justice to focust its "robust investigation" on. These are: the "the prevalance of CSAM" and the "measures" they use to "prevent, reduce, and respond to it"; "the prevalence of missing or abducted children linked to content on OnlyFans" as well as their "measures" of law enforcement reporting; and "the use of direct messaging on OnlyFans to solicit prostitution and the extent to which minors are solicited for prostitution or other services related to sexual activity."
Among the signatories of the letter were Missouri Representative Ann Wagner, Texas Representative Sylvia Garcia, Virginia Representative Abigail Spanberger, Michigan Representative Lisa McClain, California Representative Young Kim, New Jersey Representative Christopher Smith, New York Representative Andrew Garbarino, Oklahoma Representative Tom Cole, Kentucky Representative James Comer, and Alabama Representative Barry Moore.