Technology

MasterCard, Visa to stop allowing their cards to be used on Pornhub

Mastercard and Visa said Thursday they will no longer allow their cards to be used on Pornhub, less than a week after the credit card companies said they would review their relationship with the site in light of a recent New York Times column that included allegations that the website contained rape scenes, revenge pornography and underaged sex. 

Mastercard said in a statement its investigation confirmed violations of its standards that prohibit “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,” MasterCard said. “In addition, we continue to investigate potential illegal content on other websites to take the appropriate action.”

Visa issued a similar statement Thursday.

“We are instructing the financial institutions who serve MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network,” the company said in a statement, referring to Pornhub’s parent company.

“At Visa, we are vigilant in our efforts to stamp out illegal activity on our network, and we encourage our financial institution partners to regularly review their merchants’ compliance of our standards on this and other platforms,” the statement continued. 

Pornhub called the credit card companies’ actions “exceptionally disappointing,” noting the website’s policy updates announced earlier this week. 

“This news is crushing for the hundreds of thousands of models who rely on our platform for their livelihoods,” Pornhub said in a statement. 

Pornhub announced Tuesday it would ban unverified content from being posted on its site as well as prohibit users from downloading content from the site, effective immediately. 

The website’s previous ability for users to download directly from Pornhub made it possible for content that may have been removed to still be shared, and for the content to possibly be uploaded again. 

The updates followed the Times’ column and the credit card companies’ announcement that they were reviewing their business relationship with Pornhub. 

Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote that “many” of the roughly 7 million new videos posted to Pornhub yearly “depict child abuse and nonconsensual violence.” 

Pornhub called the allegations that it allows child videos on the site “irresponsible and flagrantly untrue.” 

The credit card companies’ announcement to cut ties with Pornhub comes on the heels of a bipartisan Senate bill introduced Wednesday that would allow victims depicted in online revenge pornography or in forced pornography to sue the websites hosting this content. 

The Survivors of Human Trafficking Fight Back Act is sponsored by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

Tags Joni Ernst Josh Hawley Maggie Hassan Mastercard Pornhub Thom Tillis Visa

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