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Child Abuse and Rape: Mastercard, Visa cut ties with Pornhub

Credit card companies, Mastercard, Visa and Discover have cut all ties with pornography website, pornhub following allegations that the site exhibited videos of child abuse and nonconsensual sexual behavior (rape).

The companies have taken the action of blocking customers from using their companies’ credit cards to make purchases on Pornhub after allegations were made against the website in a New York Times column on December 4.

Following the Times’ column, Mastercard (MA) launched an investigation into the claims against Pornhub and said it found them to be true, despite pornhub’s denial.

“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.

“As a result, and in accordance with our policies, we instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance.”

Mastercard said it’s also investigating other websites for potential illegal content.

Visa (V) has also suspended the use of its cards for purchases on Pornhub

“Given the allegations of illegal activity, Visa is suspending Pornhub’s acceptance privileges pending the completion of our ongoing investigation,” Visa told CNN Business in a statement.

“We are instructing the financial institutions who serve MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network.” MindGeek is the parent company of Pornhub.

Discover (DFS), another financial services company has also cut payment services with Pornhub.

“We require our financial institution partners to monitor for and prevent card acceptance at merchants that allow illegal or any other prohibited activities that violate our operating standards,” Discover said in a statement.

“When Discover determines merchants are offering prohibited activity, we promptly terminate card acceptance through the offending merchant’s financial institution.”

Pornhub, whose customers do a lot of online card payments, has now reacted to the access blocks.

In a statement, Pornhub said, “these actions are exceptionally disappointing.”

Pornhub stated that just days before the ban it announced new measures to eliminate child abuse and nonconsensual activity on its platform, including removing all unverified content and banning unverified users from uploading content on its site.

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

Many advocates including the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) have called for credit card companies to stop processing payments on Pornhub and other pornographic sites. The nonprofit organization applauded the card companies’ latest move, calling it “the right decision to finally cut ties with a profiteer of rape.”

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