Visa suspends card payments for ad purchases on PornHub and MindGeek amid controversy

Al Kelly

Mark Neuling | CNBC

Visa is suspending card payments for promoting on Pornhub and its mum or dad company MindGeek after a lawsuit stoked the controversy that the payments large may very well be facilitating youngster pornography.

A federal choose in California on Friday denied Visa’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit by a lady who accuses the cost processor of knowingly facilitating the distribution of kid pornography on Pornhub and different websites operated by mum or dad company MindGeek.

Visa CEO and Chairman Al Kelly mentioned in a statement Thursday that he strongly disagrees with this courtroom and is assured in his position. 

“Visa condemns sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse,” Kelly mentioned. “It is illegal, and Visa does not permit the use of our network for illegal activity. Our rules explicitly and unequivocally prohibit the use of our products to pay for content that depicts nonconsensual sexual behavior or child sexual abuse. We are vigilant in our efforts to deter this, and other illegal activity on our network.”

Kelly mentioned the courtroom choice created uncertainty concerning the function of TrafficJunky, MindGeek’s promoting arm, and accordingly, the company will droop its Visa acceptance privileges till additional discover. During this suspension, Visa playing cards won’t be able for use to buy promoting on any websites, together with Pornhub or different MindGeek-affiliated websites, Kelly mentioned.

“It is Visa’s policy to follow the law of every country in which we do business. We do not make moral judgments on legal purchases made by consumers, and we respect the rightful role of lawmakers to make decisions about what is legal and what is not,” Kelly mentioned. “Visa can be used only at MindGeek studio sites that feature adult professional actors in legal adult entertainment.”

The girl is suing Visa and MindGeek over a sexually express video her boyfriend filmed of her when she was 13 years outdated.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney, of the Central District of California in Santa Ana, mentioned Visa made the choice to proceed to acknowledge MindGeek as a service provider, regardless of its alleged data that MindGeek monetized youngster porn.

The CEO mentioned Visa had already suspended websites that contained user-generated content material in December 2020 and acceptance on these websites has not been reinstated. 

Mastercard advised CNBC it is directing monetary establishments to droop acceptance of its merchandise at TrafficJunky following the courtroom ruling. 

Hedge fund supervisor Bill Ackman not too long ago spoke out concerning the controversy, calling on Visa to stress Pornhub to take away youngster pornography from its website.

MindGeek did not instantly reply to CNBC’s request for remark.

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