OnlyFans leakers are using automated tools to hoover up premium content and make it available to private groups outside the platform for free or sometimes for profit.
According to a report from Vice’s Motherboard, a ‘supply chain’ of online pirates use free scraping tools that can hoover up hundreds of terabytes of content – primarily from sex workers on the platform – at a time.
Once downloaded, the content is then distributed or traded on messaging platforms like Discord, which removed multiple servers from its platform after being contacted by Motherboard.
In some cases, pirates will attempt to profit off of the stolen content by charging other people for access to the troves without divulging that it came from OnlyFans.
Pirates reportedly sometimes take advantage of promotions by models on the platform which allow users to view their content for a free trial period.
Once subscribed for free, they scrape all of the content from the account and then unsubscribe without ever paying.
‘We’ve fully scraped accounts that have thousands of videos. We don’t compress anything either since we prefer quality over storage space. Literally everything gets scraped. Images, videos, audio and text,’ one scraper that calls himself DHRB told Motherboard.
In some cases that content is even sold to adult websites that host the pirated content or re-sold from one user to another. Free streaming sites like PornHub and Xvideos also often host premium content that has been uploaded without a model’s permission.
In Motherboard’s investigation, the outlet found various tools designed to let people download and store OnlyFans content which were available online, one of which was an extension made for Google’s Chrome web browser.
After Motherboard approached Google with the existence of the extension, it was taken down.
The tools varied in their complexity according to Motherboard, with some requiring users to have some knowledge of coding.
The report comes as OnlyFans has risen in popularity over the last three months, driven mainly by people turning to the platform for extra income.
It also precedes an incident in which premium content from the platform was leaked.
It’s unclear how many users were affected, but the directory is estimated to be between 1.5 and four terabytes, though the exact size has fluctuated substantially as new files are added and older ones deleted or moved.