Mastercard, Visa Investigate Pornhub For Allegations Of Child Abuse Contents

Australian dollars in Sydney, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

Online payment services companies Mastercard and Visa Inc. are investigating allegations against Pornhub.com after a newspaper column accused the pornographic website of showing videos of child abuse, and rape, multiple reports said. Both credit card companies accept payments on the site.

An opinion column on Friday at The New York Times, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof, described that the adult website carries many videos with child sexual abuse material or CSAM, rape scenes, revenge pornography and other explicit videos taken without participants’ consent.

Kristof wrote in the column, “The issue is not pornography but rape. Let’s agree that promoting assaults on children or on anyone without consent is unconscionable.”

Both companies reportedly said they are investigating the allegations with Pornhub’s parent MindGeek’s bank, and will take action if the claims are found to be valid.

Mastercard said it has zero tolerance for illegal activity on its network. The company is working closely with law enforcement and organizations such as the National and International Center for Missing and Exploited Children to detect and prevent the related issues.

The company said its policy regarding illegal activity is to ask the acquirer to terminate the relationship, unless an effective compliance plan is put in place.

Pornhub, meanwhile, responded that the company has a team of human moderators to manually review every single upload, and automated detection technologies. The website allows videos to be downloaded directly from its site, making the content to spread widely.

Following the Times’ column, hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman had tweeted, calling for card companies to either withhold payments or withdraw connection with Pornhub until the issue is fixed.

Among other online payment services companies, PayPal in 2019 stopped processing payments to Pornhub.

Meanwhile, American Express said its longstanding policy prohibits cards from being used on digital adult content sites.

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