Visa, Mastercard block use of credit cards on Pornhub over child sexual abuse concerns

Visa and Mastercard will block use of their cards on the global porn portal Pornhub.

The credit facilities’ decisions come in the wake of a New York Times expose of child sexual abuse appearing on Pornhub.

“Pornhub became my trafficker,” a woman named Cali told NYT’s journalist Nicholas Kristof. According to Kristoff’s report, Cali was adopted in the United States from China and then trafficked by her adoptive family. She was forced to appear in pornographic videos from when she was 9 years old. Some videos of her being abused ended up on Pornhub and regularly reappear there.

According to Reuters, Mastercard will permanently ending the use of its cards on the porn site, after its investigation confirmed the presence of illegal content on the platform. Visa said it was suspending payments till an investigation was completed.

A campaign to shut down Pornhub has been going for over a year, called “Traffickinghub”, founded by Laila Mickelwait and powered by the anti-trafficking organisation Exodus Cry. The campaign is a non-partisan effort supported by activists from 192 countries and a broad spectrum of over 300 organisations. One of those organisations in Australia is Collective Shout, run by Melinda Tankard Reist.

“Pornhub is a crime scene … It should be called Rapehub.” – Melinda Tankard Reist

Tankard Reist told Eternity that today’s announcement was “a great development in a long-running campaign”.

“Pornhub is a crime scene,” she said. “The New York Times report put a giant spotlight on this criminal enterprise that has been causing so much devastation. It should be called Rapehub.”

“For some time, we’ve been exposing the rape videos, the videos of child sexual abuse, the videos that aid trafficking, the videos that are not consensual, that all appear on Pornhub. Child survivors of abuse, who have been exploited on this platform, have fought for a long time to have footage of their abuse taken down. But they have been ignored. Until now.”

Tankard Reist says the pressure is building for Pornhub to be shut down completely.

Pornhub is the world’s leading adult entertainment site, with more than 10 million videos and 120 million daily visitors: the equivalent of the populations of Canada, Australia, Poland and the Netherlands all visiting in one day.

The goal of taking down one of the world’s busiest sites might seem overwhelming, but Tankard Reist is adamant that it can be done.

“This is not a site that can be made ‘better’. It can’t be ‘fixed’. The content that we’re talking about is not an aberration. It’s not a glitch or a bug. Child sexual abuse is a feature of what Pornhub offers to millions of consumers around the world. And companies like Visa and Mastercard have profited from that abuse.

“We will continue to chip away. The announcements from Visa and Mastercard is a big ‘chip’.

Tankard Reist says #shutitdown is still the hashtag for the TraffickingHub campaign.

The campaign’s petition now has over 2 million signatures.

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