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Campaign success as Mastercard and Visa step away from Pornhub

Human TraffickingVictories

Trigger warning: this article has descriptions of child sexual abuse that may be upsetting for some readers.

Two of the world’s largest credit card companies have announced they are stepping away from porn site Pornhub, with Mastercard severing ties outright and Visa suspending payment processing.

Earlier this week, Mastercard and Visa announced it would investigate whether Pornhub featured videos of child assault and other illegal content after a New York Times exposé drew attention to the issue.

Just days later, Mastercard has announced that its investigation “confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content” and terminated its relationship with Pornhub; while Visa’s investigation remains ongoing, it also blocked payments to the site.

Mastercard and Visa join financial institution PayPal, which stopped processing payments to the Canada-based comapny last year, in taking a stand against human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.

The move represents a huge success for Freedom United and its partners that have been campaigning since earlier this year for the credit card companies to cut ties with Pornhub.

The Independent reports:

“Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,” said MasterCard spokesman Seth Eisen.

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

With the increased attention the issue has been given over the past week, world leaders are finally waking up to the reality of trafficking for sexual abuse online, including Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

“We are always extremely concerned with gender-based violence, with exploitation of minors, with child pornography,” Mr Trudeau said Friday. “We’re going to continue to work with police agencies and security agencies and all means possible to ensure that all Canadians are kept safe.” 

Pornhub has repeatedly failed to implement strong measures ensuring that footage of extreme sexual abuse and torture of trafficking victims is not uploaded to the site, effectively profiting off child trafficking.

Despite claims by the site that it is committed to combating child sexual abuse and has measures in place to do so, a recent VICE investigation found that these were ineffective in stopping harmful content from circulating.

Nearly 20,000 members of the Freedom United community have written to Visa, Mastercard, and Discover since May as part of the broader Traffickinghub campaign.

Given credit card company Discover still hasn’t terminated its relationship with Pornhub, and Visa’s investigation remains ongoing, it’s now crucial that we keep up the pressure and build of this momentum.

Stand with victims of child trafficking and join the campaign.

Chip in and help end modern slavery once and for all.

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sherry A Clark
sherry A Clark
1 year ago

Thank you for that Visa and Master Card

3 months ago


Shabbaz Taher
Shabbaz Taher
1 year ago

All sex industries must be shut down, all johns, pimps, madames should be arrested and lock them forever. All porn sites and sex industries should be defunct. The girls and children deserve to be free of them. They deserve rights and aid. Islamic Aid or Al Mustafa charity should deliver food packages and residential skyscrapers for them.