Credit Card Companies Jump Ship After Pornhub Exposé

Mastercard won't do business with the porn site
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2020 7:52 AM CST
Mastercard Is Done With Pornhub
Credit card companies cutting ties with PornHub   ((BrianAJackson/iStock/Getty Images Plus))

Startling allegations involving revenge porn and child abuse have companies reassessing their relationship with Pornhub, and at least one big credit card company is officially cutting ties. Per the BBC, Mastercard will block use of its cards on the Canada-based pornography site, saying in a statement, "Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site." Per the AP, Visa said Thursday it has "suspended" use of its cards on Pornhub pending the completion of its own investigation into the site and parent company MindGeek.

The credit card companies, which hold a combined 80% of US credit card marketshare, per WalletHub, initiated their investigations after a column from the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof shook the online porn industry; a subsequent tweet from investor Bill Ackman called for credit card companies to withhold or withdraw all payments to the site. In a statement, Pornhub has called the actions "exceptionally disappointing" and a crushing blow for "hundreds of thousands of models who rely on our platform for their livelihoods." After learning about the Mastercard move, Kristof tweeted in part, "This wouldn't have happened without survivors bravely speaking up." (In the wake of Kristof's column, Pornhub amended the rules around user uploads and downloads in what was a likely bid to stop users from posting nonconsensual porn videos.)

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