Following a devastating column by The New York Times, which found Pornhub had included videos of child abuse and rape, Mastercard and Visa said they would prohibit the use of their cards on the adult website.
The announcements from both credit card companies came just six days after The Times published an investigation into Pornhub by columnist Nicholas Kristof (Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault), which discovered the disturbing fact Pornhub is “infested with rape videos”.
The Times shared the news that both Mastercard and Visa had started investigations into their ties with Pornhub’s parent-company, MindGeek.
In a statement released on Thursday, via The Times, Mastercard said that the investigation “confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,” which prompted the company to terminate the acceptance of its cards on Pornhub.
Meanwhile, Visa advised in a separate statement that: “We are instructing the financial institutions who serve MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network,” pending the completion of Visa’s investigation.
In his investigation, Kristof said nearly seven million videos are posted to Pornhub yearly, and while many of them perhaps depict consensual acts, many do not.
Kristof reported that videos of teenage girls who had been victims of assault and trafficking had been found on the website.
“In each case, offenders were arrested for the assaults, but Pornhub escaped responsibility for sharing the videos and profiting from them,” Kristof wrote for The Times.
On Thursday, Pornhub said that it had made changes to prevent the use of non-consensual content. It described the decisions by Mastercard and Visa to prohibit the use of their cards on the adult website as “exceptionally disappointing”.
In addition, The Times reported Mastercard would continue to investigate potential illegal content on other websites, and take action as necessary.
Featured image source: iStock/Kritchanut
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