Letter to Hon. Merrick Garland, Attorney General - Congresswoman Ann Wagner Leads Bipartisan Coalition Calling for DOJ to Investigate OnlyFans for Child Exploitation


By: David McKinley, Tom Tiffany, Kim Schrier, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Jennifer Wexton, Abigail Spanberger, Ben Cline, Burgess Owens, Blake Moore, Colin Allred, John Carter, Sylvia Garcia, Henry Cuellar, Michael Burgess, Troy Nehls, Chip Roy, Jodey Arrington, Pete Sessions, Randy Weber, Sr., Kay Granger, Michael McCaul, Lance Gooden, Dan Crenshaw, Chuck Fleischmann, Tim Burchett, Diana Harshbarger, Tom Rice, Jeff Duncan, Guy Reschenthaler, Brian Fitzpatrick, Stephanie Bice, Tom Cole, Markwayne Mullin, Anthony Gonzalez, Bob Gibbs, Chris Jacobs, John Katko, Claudia Tenney, Elise Stefanik, Nicole Malliotakis, Andrew Garbarino, Yvette Herrell, Mikie Sherrill, Chris Smith, Jeff Van Drew, Jeff Fortenberry, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Richard Hudson, Jr., David Rouzer, Billy Long, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Lisa McClain, Elissa Slotkin, Tim Walberg, John Moolenaar, Peter Meijer, Bill Huizenga, Dutch Ruppersberger, Clay Higgins, Hal Rogers, James Comer, Jr., Larry Bucshon, Jim Banks, Jackie Walorski, Cheri Bustos, Mike Bost, Randy Feenstra, Cindy Axne, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Ashley Hinson, Jody Hice, Lucy McBath, Buddy Carter, Carlos Gimenez, Byron Donalds, Brian Mast, Greg Steube, Scott Franklin, Gus Bilirakis, Daniel Webster, Val Demings, Darren Soto, Bill Posey, Michael Waltz, Neal Dunn, Rosa DeLauro, Lauren Boebert, Michelle Steel, Ken Calvert, Young Kim, David Valadao, Debbie Lesko, Paul Gosar, Bruce Westerman, Steve Womack, Rick Crawford, Gary Palmer, Robert Aderholt, Barry Moore, Ann Wagner
Date: Aug. 10, 2021
Location: Washington, DC

Attorney General Garland,

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing our kids to spend more time isolated and online, it is our responsibility to ensure children are protected from bad actors operating via the internet. Of particular concern is the website OnlyFans.com, which has 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. We write today to call your attention to potentially illegal activity, including child sexual exploitation, that this website is facilitating. 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 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 on OnlyFans. In 2019, NCMEC indicated it was aware of 10 cases involving missing children associated with content sold on OnlyFans. In 2021, NCMEC has identified at least 80 cases in which missing children were linked with OnlyFans content. Moreover, in 2021, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) named OnlyFans one of the top contributors to online sexual exploitation in the United States.

It appears OnlyFans does not have adequate mechanisms in place to notify the proper authorities when CSAM is found on the website. Earlier this year, law enforcement in Florida's Miami-Dade County arrested two adults for human trafficking, possession of a sexual performance by a child, and promoting the sexual performance by a child. According to law enforcement officials, these arrests were only made possible when a friend of the underage girl saw videos of the victim being exploited on OnlyFans and notified the authorities. With more than 220 million monthly visitors on OnlyFans, the pervasiveness of CSAM on this website, as well as any business practices used to shield such content from scrutiny, must be investigated.

Based on the concerns outlined in this letter, we request that the Department of Justice utilize its authority and resources to conduct a robust investigation into OnlyFans focused on:

The prevalence of CSAM on OnlyFans, and what measures, or lack thereof, OnlyFans employs to prevent, reduce, and respond to CSAM on its platform.

The prevalence of missing or abducted children linked to content on OnlyFans, and the measures, or lack thereof, OnlyFans employs to report such instances to law enforcement.

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.

We appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.