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  • Writer's picturePayton Legal Group

Mastercard and Visa stop allowing their cards to be used on Pornhub.

Mastercard and Visa said they had prohibited the use of their cards on the adult website Pornhub, after the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof reported that the platform included videos of child abuse and rape.

Both companies had started investigations this week into their financial ties with MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub.

Mastercard said in a statement on Thursday that the investigation “confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,” which prompted the company to terminate the acceptance of its cards on the site.

In a separate statement, Visa said, “We are instructing the financial institutions who serve MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network,” pending the completion of its investigation.

Nearly seven million videos are posted on Pornhub each year, and although the vast majority of them probably depict consensual acts, many do not, Mr. Kristof wrote. He reported that videos of teenage girls who had been victims of assault and trafficking had been found on the website.

“In each case, offenders were arrested for the assaults, but Pornhub escaped responsibility for sharing the videos and profiting from them,” Mr. Kristof wrote.

Pornhub, which said on Tuesday that it had made changes to prevent the use of nonconsensual content, said on Thursday that Mastercard’s and Visa’s measures were “exceptionally disappointing.”

Mastercard said it would continue to investigate potential illegal content on other websites, and take action as necessary.

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