Mastercard and Visa Prohibit Use of Their Cards on PornHub After Reports of Child Abuse and Rape Videos on Site

Mastercard and Visa have prohibited their cards on PornHub following a report about videos uploaded to the site that depict child abuse and rape.

The two credit card companies released statements to the New York Times Thursday. Mastercard said that their investigation into MindGeek, PornHub’s parent company, “confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site.” Visa also said that they are “instructing the financial institutions who serve MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network.”

On December 4 Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times published his report on the porn giant titled “The Children of Pornhub.” He begins the report by describing how PornHub actively works to cultivate an upstanding image in the public square yet does virtually nothing to curb the proliferation of shockingly depraved and/or illegal content on their site.

“Pornhub prides itself on being the cheery, winking face of naughty, the website that buys a billboard in Times Square and provides snow plows to clear Boston streets. It donates to organizations fighting for racial equality and offers steamy content free to get people through Covid-19 shutdowns,” Kristof writes.

“That supposedly ‘wholesome Pornhub’ attracts 3.5 billion visits a month, more than Netflix, Yahoo or Amazon. Pornhub rakes in money from almost three billion ad impressions a day. One ranking lists Pornhub as the 10th-most-visited website in the world.”

“Yet there’s another side of the company: Its site is infested with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags. A search for ‘girls under18′ (no space) or ’14yo’ leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos. Most aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are.”

As for PornHub, they said they were “extremely disappointed” by the decisions of Mastercard and Visa.

Kristof’s report details what many of us have long known about PornHub, but it is good to see it enter into the mainstream conversation. There is nothing good or redeeming about pornography, period. Pornographic sites should face serious consequences for their participation in the destruction of the common good, especially if they knowingly profit off of illegal content.