December 15, 2020

Visa and Mastercard Blocked Payments to Pornhub for Enabling Sexual Crimes. Now it's Blocking Millions of Videos in a Desperate Attempt to Survive.

photo credit: Ivan Radic / Flickr
Pornhub, the largest pornography website in the world, has blocked millions of videos from public view on its website after Visa and Mastercard blocked payments to the site using their cards. It hopes to regain favor with the companies by taking this action, but it's unknown if this will be successful.

Pornhub is guilty of enabling sex trafficking and rape through its website. It doesn't require people who upload videos on the site to confirm the age of the people portrayed in their videos, nor whether they gave consent to the sexual acts shown. The organization Exodus Cry, which fights against child and sex trafficking, created a short video explaining how Pornhub enables and profits from these crimes.

In response to allegations that the company profits from the sexual exploitation of others, both Mastercard and Visa announced last week that they would be blocking payments from their cards to the website. Mastercard has suggested that it has permanently blocked the use of its cards on the website, while Visa says that its cards are suspended while the company completes a more thorough investigation. American Express told the Associated Press last week that its cards were already blocked from usage on "digital adult content websites."

Mastercard told the Daily Caller that it had already completed an investigation which “confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content” on Pornhub.

On Dec. 14, VICE reported that Pornhub has taken a dramatic move to remove all non-verified content on the website from public access. The website, which previously hosted roughly 13.5 million videos, seems to have blocked over 10 million videos in this process.

After victims of sexual violence are forced or manipulated to commit sexual acts against their wills, they are often similarly pushed toward abortions. The actions that financial institutions are taking against Pornhub and its Canadian parent company MindGeek are doing far more than the Canadian or American governments have ever done to hold the pornography giant accountable for the role it has played in enabling sex-trafficking.