Following the New York Times exposure, Mastercard and Visa broke ties with Pornhub

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Downloads and unverified uploads have been removed from the web.
Mastercard and Visa have announced that their cards can no longer be used on Pornhub following a New York Times exposé highlighting rape and child abuse videos populating the service.

Nicholas Kristof’s NYT report alleges that Pornhub monetizes videos of rape and the sexual abuse of underage girls. It also documents other illegal content on the platform, including spycam videos and revenge porn. Kristof wrote that he “didn’t see why search engines, banks or credit-card companies” should “bolster” Pornhub.

Despite parent company MindGeek calling the allegations “irresponsible and flagrantly untrue,” Pornhub responded to the article by prohibiting uploads from unverified users and banning most downloads.

The revelations also saw both Visa and Mastercard investigate the child abuse allegations with MindGeek’s bank. Yesterday, Mastercard said its investigation had “confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their [Pornhub’s] site.” It has now “instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance” of its cards.

Visa, meanwhile, is suspending Pornhub’s acceptance privileges pending the completion of its investigation. Given Mastercard’s decision, it seems unlikely that Visa will reinstate its cards for use with the site.

Responding to Mastercard’s decision, Pornhub wrote: “These actions are exceptionally disappointing, as they come just two days after Pornhub instituted the most far-reaching safeguards in user-generated platform history.

“Unverified users are now banned from uploading content – a policy no other platform has put in place, including Facebook, which reported 84 million instances of child sexual abuse material over the last three years. In comparison, the Internet Watch Foundation reported 118 incidents on Pornhub over the last three years.”

The company added that the news “is crushing for the hundreds of thousands of models who rely on our platform for their livelihoods.”

In its ‘Year in review’ for 2019, Pornhub revealed that there had been 42 billion visits to the site and 6.83 million video uploads last year. The 1.36 million hours of new content would take 169 years to watch.

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