Ashburn, VA asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes, Internet Law and Sexual Harassment for New York

Q: Could a person be charged if they DM someone an onlyfans link on instagram/facebook without knowing if they are a minor?

Onlyfans makes every user that signs up agree that they are 18 or older before they are able to view/buy any explicit content, but only asks content creators for an ID. If a person DMs an onlyfans link to their followers, could they be charged if the recipient happens to be a minor?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In situations where a person sends an OnlyFans link to someone on Instagram or Facebook without knowing the recipient's age, potential legal issues could arise. While OnlyFans requires users to confirm that they are 18 or older, it is not foolproof, and minors could potentially create accounts by falsifying their age.

If a person sends an OnlyFans link to their followers and the recipient is later found to be a minor, the sender may not be automatically charged with a crime. Intent and knowledge of the recipient's age typically play a significant role in such cases. To be charged with a crime, there generally needs to be evidence that the sender knowingly and intentionally shared explicit content with a minor.

However, it's important to exercise caution when sharing explicit content online, especially on platforms where age verification may not be robust. Individuals should be aware of the legal implications and the potential risk associated with sharing such content, even unintentionally. To minimize risk, consider using appropriate privacy settings on social media and being cautious when sharing links to explicit content. If you have concerns about a specific situation, it's advisable to consult with an attorney for legal guidance tailored to your circumstances.

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