Visa Joins Mastercard in Pornhub Review Following Abuse Claims

Visa Inc., like rival Mastercard Inc., is reviewing its ties to MindGeek after a New York Times column accused a company subsidiary, Pornhub.com, of distributing videos depicting child abuse and non-consensual violence.

“We are aware of the allegations, and we are actively engaging with the relevant financial institutions to investigate, in addition to engaging directly with the site’s parent company, MindGeek,” Visa said in a statement, adding that if Pornhub is found to be breaking the law or policies set by its bank partners, then the site “will no longer be able to accept Visa payments.”

Nicholas Kristof’s column in the Times described recordings of assaults and a video of a naked 14-year-old girl, sparking outrage on social media. Kristof argued that Pornhub doesn’t adequately block content depicting violence and allows videos to be downloaded from its site, which means that material can spread even after it’s removed.

Mastercard said Saturday that it doesn’t tolerate illegal activity on its payment network, and that it’s reviewing ties to MindGeek. Visa’s review was reported Sunday by the Associated Press.

Pornhub said any assertion that it allows child sexual-abuse material is untrue. The site is “unequivocally committed to combating” the content and has implemented an “industry-leading trust and safety policy to identify and eradicate illegal material,” Pornhub said in a statement.

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