Patreon wants to see your booty license

More paperwork for adult content creators on the platform in Naughty List News #48

Patreon released an update to their policies surrounding adult content after receiving “dozens” of questions from concerned creators. Like many other content platforms, they are affected by the changes imposed by Mastercard when it comes to processing payments for adult content.

While they stress that they continue to support adult content creators, Patreon now requires documentation of consent from real people featured in adult content. They’re likely referring to the 2257 form that is legally mandated for the distribution of explicit material in the United States. Unfortunately, there have already been problems in the past with this type of compliance paperwork, with OnlyFans only accepting forms in a specific format.

Similarly, Patreon now requires age and identity verification for adult content creators in the form of government-issued identification. The identification should include their date of birth and confirm their identity. Patreon will require verification for new adult content creators immediately and will expand the policy to existing 18+ creators at a later time.

Putting your eggs in a leaky basket

While these policies sound like they would make Patreon a safer place, they actually put adult content creators in harm’s way. Sex workers wonder whether they can trust the platform with their official documentation when the company doesn’t have a perfect track record when it comes to keeping their creator’s data safe.

According to a survey of 641 sex workers in the UK conducted in 2018, sex workers have more control over their lives and are less at risk of being physically attacked when they operate online. It allows them to screen clients, avoid drugs and alcohol, choose where they work, and provide support for peers.

But there are still risks. More than half of the people in the study reported receiving threatening texts, calls, or e-mails in the past five years. And almost two-thirds experienced persistent or unwanted contact from individuals. These threats can sometimes escalate to violence as well, including physical and sexual assault.

The most common threat is to “expose” sex workers to their friends, family, and coworkers. To mitigate this, 91.5% of the sex workers in the study used a pseudonym when working online.

If this very sensitive data on Patreon is ever breached, it would immediately expose countless sex workers to harassment and cut them off from one of their main sources of income.

Adult games could lose their voice

Adult game makers also have concerns about the new policies. It’s not clear whether the new policies on Patreon apply to adult voice-over work, for example.

I spoke with an adult game developer about these issues and while they were happy to confirm some details for me, they prefer to stay anonymous for this story. They fear that speaking frankly could jeopardize their business relationship with Patreon.

My source told me that they are a small studio and that keeping track of all the official documentation for their voice talent would be a huge administrative burden. Their game currently features some 50+ voice artists from all over the world. Having to chase them all down for this newly required paperwork would be a lot of work for them, perhaps more than it’s worth.

They also told me that they would continue commissioning work from voice artists until the situation around adult voice work becomes clear. They still need to record lines for more than a hundred characters in their game and they don’t want to release their game with the voices only partially done.

But if Patreon does confirm that the same policies for identity verification apply for voice artists, and a majority of their contractors declined to provide documentation, my source confirmed that they would prefer stripping out all the voice work from their game instead.

Stripping out all the voice work would mean that no additional paperwork is required for Patreon. It would lessen my source’s administrative burden and allow them to complete their game as planned. But it would also mean that their fans will lose out on the work of a lot of talented people.

The blame is fully on Patreon here. They should make it a priority to clarify their policies around adult voice work. Adult game developers shouldn’t be forced to choose between keeping their voice talent and their income stream on the platform.

Not all doom and gloom

Even with the restrictions on adult content already in place on Patreon, adult games are still absolutely thriving on the platform. Sex Positive Gaming recently made a video about the fastest-growing pages in 2021:

It’s clear to me that there is still a lot of demand for adult games on the platform.

We just need to make sure that creators of adult games can continue to build their games in public, without the interference of payment processors.

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-Mr. Hands