Major Credit Card Companies Sever Agreements With Pornhub

Major Credit Card Companies Sever Agreements With Pornhub

Following a Dec. 4 opinion piece published by The New York Times accusing Pornhub of distributing videos depicting child abuse and non-consensual sexual behavior, Mastercard, Visa and Discover have announced that they are cutting ties with the porn giant.

“The use of our cards at Pornhub is being terminated,” Mastercard spokesperson Seth Eisen told The Verge last Thursday. “Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site. As a result, and in accordance with our policies, we instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance. In addition, we continue to investigate potential illegal content on other websites to take the appropriate action.”

Although Visa’s investigation into the allegations is not yet complete, the credit company tweeted Thursday that, in the meantime, customers will not be able to make purchases on the site: “Given the allegations of illegal activity, Visa is suspending Pornhub’s acceptance privileges pending the completion of our ongoing investigation. We are instructing the financial institutions who serve MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network.” MindGeek is the parent company of Pornhub.

And last Saturday, Discover told Forbes it too had terminated its card acceptance with the company.

“We require our financial institution partners to monitor for and prevent card acceptance at merchants that allow illegal or any other prohibited activities that violate our operating standards,” Discover said in a statement. “When Discover determines merchants are offering prohibited activity, we promptly terminate card acceptance through the offending merchant’s financial institution.”

Paypal previously terminated its relationship with the pornography website in November 2019.

The New York Times article credited the Traffickinghub campaign, founded by Laila Mickelwait and powered by the anti-trafficking organization Exodus Cry, for raising awareness of Pornhub’s crimes and encouraging politicians to “shut down [the] super-predator site … and hold the executives behind it accountable.”

Just last week, Sen. Josh Hawley introduced legislation that would allow victims of sexual assault, trafficking and revenge porn to sue sites like Pornhub that host such content on their platforms.

And in light of the scrutiny, the company has reportedly scrubbed its site of all unverified content. Prior to the credit companies’ announcements, the porn site hosted around 13.5 million videos. As of Monday morning, almost two-thirds of those were taken down.

Yet anti-trafficking organizations, like Exodus Cry, say the fight isn’t over.

“I’m so inspired, more than I ever have been, but it’s not enough,” Mickelwait said. “Justice means shutting this site down and holding its executives criminally accountable for what they have done, and we will stop at nothing less.”

Photo: Ognian Setchanov/Alamy Stock Photo

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