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Visa, Mastercard dump Pornhub over abuse video claims

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Visa and Mastercard say their credit cards can't be used to pay for Pornhub after a report that the website hosted videos depicting child sexual abuse./AFP
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Dec 11, 2020 - 04:18 AM

NEW YORK — Credit card titans Visa and Mastercard on Thursday said they would no longer process payments to Pornhub after US media reported the site hosts videos depicting child sex abuse and rape.

The New York Times said the pornography website includes “many” videos depicting “child abuse and nonconsensual violence” among the 6.8 million new videos posted each year, and that because Pornhub users can download videos directly from the site, images of abuse could be reposted repeatedly.

“Today, the use of our cards at Pornhub is being terminated.  Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,” Mastercard said in a statement.

Visa cited allegations of illegal activity in “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,” it said in a statement, referring to the Pornhub’s Canadian parent company.

Pornhub called the decisions “exceptionally disappointing,” pointing to changes it had made following the Times report.

The company earlier this week announced it would only allow “properly identified users to upload content,” and also banned downloads.

Going forward, only content partners and people who earn ad revenue from their videos will be able to upload to the site, and a new user verification process would be rolled out next year.

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

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