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Visa and Mastercard Suspend Payments to PornHub Parent Company Advertising Platform

blue and white visa card on silver laptop computer

Visa and Mastercard Suspend Payments to PornHub Parent Company Advertising Platform

By Movieguide® Contributor

On Thursday, Visa and Mastercard announced that they will not allow usage of their credit cards on advertising overseen by MindGeek, the parent company of PornHub.

In his statement, Visa’s Chairman and CEO Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. wrote, “Let me be clear: Visa condemns sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse. It is illegal, and Visa does not permit the use of our network for illegal activity.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Visa’s legal entanglements with PornHub “for monetizing ‘videos of child rapes.’”

Kelly, however, reiterated that Visa “suspended sites that contained user-generated content in December 2020 and acceptance on those sites has not been reinstated. Despite what you may have read in recent days, you cannot use your Visa card on Pornhub.”

Additionally, the company has suspended TrafficJunky, MindGeek’s advertising arm, due to uncertainty about its role.

“Accordingly, we will suspend TrafficJunky’s Visa acceptance privileges based on the court’s decision until further notice,” Kelly stated.

Mastercard will also direct financial institutions to “suspend acceptance of our products at TrafficJunky.”

“New facts from last week’s court ruling made us aware of advertising revenue outside of our view that appears to provide Pornhub with indirect funding,” Mastercard’s statement read. “This step will further enforce our December 2020 decision to terminate the use of our products on that site.”

In December 2020, both companies stopped allowing the use of their cards on PornHub and other MindGeek sites after a New York Times exposé highlighted minor sexual abuse on PornHub.

However, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, an anti-trafficking organization working to shut down PornHub and other pornography sites, maintains that “while Visa initially suspended processing payments for Pornhub and other MindGeek sites in December 2020, it re-established a relationship with MindGeek.”

Kelly reasserted, “Our rules explicitly and unequivocally prohibit the use of our products to pay for content that depicts nonconsensual sexual behavior or child sexual abuse.”

“We are vigilant in our efforts to deter this and other illegal activity on our network,” he added. “Moreover, we require Visa’s financial institution clients, which maintain the direct relationships with merchants, to assure and attest to merchants’ compliance with our standards.”

However, Visa does “not make moral judgments on legal purchases made by consumers.” Their cards can still be used on “MindGeek studio sites that feature adult professional actors in legal adult entertainment.”

While NCOSE welcomed Visa’s announcement, its CEO Dawn Hawkins said that Visa “must do more” than this “incremental step.”

“If Visa cares about these issues as much as they say they do, Visa must suspend all payment processing services for XVideos, XHamster, and all pornography tube sites as well as their advertising arms, not only TrafficJunky,” she stated.

“In 2021, Mastercard instituted new policies for combatting sex trafficking and child abuse in pornography. It is past time for Visa to follow Mastercard’s lead,” Hawkins concluded.

Visa remains embroiled in a lawsuit filed by a woman who was sexually exploited as a minor, which U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney ruled Visa could not be removed from.

“Visa made the decision to continue to recognize MindGeek as a merchant, despite its alleged knowledge that MindGeek monetized child porn, MindGeek made the decision to continue monetizing child porn, and there are enough facts pled to suggest that the latter decision depended on the former,” wrote Carney.

“Visa is being kept in this case because it is alleged to have continued to recognize as a merchant an immense, well known, and highly visible business that it knew used its websites to host and monetize child porn.”

Movieguide® frequently reports on porn’s detrimental effects:

“91% of male and 82% of female teenagers under 18 years old have seen extreme, X-rated, hard-core, pornographic sex-and-violence.

66% of the males and 40% of the females want to copy what they see.

More than 25% of the males and 15% of the females admitted to actually copying some of the things sexually they had seen in the pornography within a few days after the exposure.”

Companies like Visa and Mastercard should continue to do everything in their power to stop the creation and dissemination of pornography because of its harmful effects on its consumers.

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.