Visa and MasterCard suspend all ties with MindGeek, owner of Pornhub

After a lawsuit that raised questions about whether payment firms could facilitate the spread of child pornography, Visa and Mastercard announced they were completely suspending ties with the advertising arm of MindGeek, the owner of one of the world’s largest porn sites, Pornhub.

Last week, a federal court in California turned down Visa’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging it facilitated the distribution of child pornography on websites run by MindGeek.

“We strongly disagree with this decision,” a Visa spokesperson said, adding, “Our company does not allow the use of our network for illegal activities.”

A MindGeek spokesperson said the company and all of its platforms, including Pornhub, “never tolerated” child sexual assault content or other illegal material.

“Such illegal content goes against our values ​​and our commitment to provide the safest virtual experience possible for our users,” the spokesperson said, adding that he is confident in the platform’s security measures.

Parted ways with Pornhub in 2020

Visa and Mastercard cut ties with Pornhub in 2020 after the New York Times reported that several videos depicted sexual assault against children. Pornhub denied the allegations.

However, Visa said that Friday’s court order created new uncertainty about the role of MindGeek’s advertising arm, TrafficJunky, and announced that “Accordingly, based on the court’s decision, we will suspend TrafficJunky’s Visa acceptance privileges until further notice.”

Likewise, Mastercard said on Thursday that the new data in the ruling “cannot afford to make us appear to be indirectly funding Pornhub. The situation is leading us to suspend the acceptance of our products on TrafficJunky.”

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