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Mastercard, Visa, dump Pornhub following rape video exposé

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Mastercard, Visa, dump Pornhub following rape video exposé 1

Mastercard and Visa have dumped Pornhub following an exposé that revealed the site was infested with videos of rape and child sex abuse. 

Mastercard confirmed “the presence of illegal material” on Pornhub’s website following the publication of a report by the New York Times, which reported that the smut site hosted videos of rape scenes, revenge porn and other footage taken without the knowledge or consent of the participants. 

“Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,” Mastercard said in a statement. “As a result, and in accordance with our policies, we instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance. In addition, we continue to investigate potential illegal content on other websites to take the appropriate action.”

Visa, in its statement, said it was “instructing the financial institutions who serve [Pornhub owner] MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network.”

Some of the videos described in op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof’s column included recordings of assaults on unconscious women and girls. 

The exposé resulted in changes to the site’s policies on Tuesday, with Pornhub pledging to crack down on illegal content. Pornhub said it will impose new restrictions on who can upload videos and a hire new squad of content moderators that will seek out potentially illegal material.

In its biggest change, Pornhub will only allow verified users to upload videos to the site. That privilege is currently restricted to Pornhub’s content partners and members of its “Model Program,” which requires performers to verify their identities by uploading a photo of themselves.

“These actions are exceptionally disappointing, as they come just two days after Pornhub instituted the most far-reaching safeguards in user-generated platform history,” the smut site said of Mastercard and Visa’s moves. “This news is crushing for the hundreds of thousands of models who rely on our platform for their livelihoods.”

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