How MindGeek monetizes Pornhub via algorithms and ads
December 12, 2020

BREAKING: Credit Card Companies Still Funding Pornhub via MindGeek’s TrafficJunky

[UPDATE – 12/15/2020] The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) received confirmation from Visa executives on December 15, 2020, that that their “financial institution partners who serve MindGeek have suspended processing of Visa payments for Pornhub and its affiliated merchants pending completion of [Visa’s] on-going investigation.” NCOSE has not yet heard back from Mastercard.

It was with great joy that we announced changes by international payment processing companies Mastercard, Visa, and Discover which each announced a halt on their processing of payments for Pornhub beginning the week of December 7-11, 2020. As we noted when highlighting the different changes, the victory was momentous but the work was far from over. It has come to light since then that these payment processors are all still working with and processing transactions for TrafficJunky — the ad platform that Pornhub’s owner, MindGeek, also owns and which it uses to run advertising on (read: monetize and profit from) Pornhub. (It also appears that at least two other MindGeek entities, Probiller and RocketGate, are still able to use Visa, Mastercard, and Discover products.)

MindGeek owns, is directly responsible for, and continues to monetize the crimes, abuse, and exploitation of Pornhub. And @Visa, @Mastercard, and @Discover are still working with MindGeek. #Traffickinghub #ShutItDown Click To Tweet

This is important to address because, as a “freemium” pornography “tube site,” one of Pornhub’s most significant sources of revenue is advertising on its platform. You see, MindGeek positions Pornhub to offer “free” pornography for two primary reasons.

One reason is that, yes, MindGeek wants to funnel consumers of its free offerings into paid subscriptions. These are the types of transactions that have been halted by Mastercard, Visa, and Discover. But subscription transactions are likely not the more lucrative reason for MindGeek to offer “free” pornography through Pornhub.

It is incredibly lucrative for MindGeek to use its proprietary algorithms to keep the tens (and hundreds) of millions of users who consume the “free” content on Pornhub watching and coming back for more. As users do that, MindGeek captures and harvests their data. That data and user profiling is then monetized by MindGeek as it sells advertising opportunities which are processed through one of its other companies: TrafficJunky. So, using Pornhub and TrafficJunky hand-in-hand, MindGeek is able to rake in massive ad revenue from entities who are willing to pay to target the massive flow of users on Pornhub. (This is similar to the way websites like Facebook and YouTube generate much of their revenue as “free” platforms.)

Accordingly, MindGeek is directly responsible for and continuing to monetize the crimes, abuse, and exploitation of Pornhub precisely because of how it has very intentionally arranged its business model to work.

So, although it is important to recognize and affirm the decisions of payment processors like Mastercard, Visa, and Discover for halting use of their products by anyone trying to purchase or monetize exploitative content through subscription transactions on Pornhub, it is even more vital that these payment processing companies cut off Pornhub’s even more significant revenue source by ending their work with its parent company MindGeek and all its owned entities such as TrafficJunky.

We need you to take action via the following easy-to-use form which will allow you to quickly (in less than a minute or two) send emails directly to high-ranking executives at Mastercard, Visa, and Discover thanking them for the initial steps they’ve taken and urging them to end all association with Pornhub’s criminal and exploitative parent company, MindGeek.

Thank Mastercard, Visa, and Discover for Halting Transactions with Pornhub and Urge Them to End Their Work with Pornhub’s Owner, MindGeek

Jake Roberson

Vice President and Director of Communications

As vice president and director of communications, including leading creative and digital strategy, Jake’s work with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation is to expose and subvert the complex web of sexual exploitation’s interconnectivity by developing relevant tactics which leverage digital mediums as a means to reach, engage, convert, develop, and activate new allies for the fight to end sexual exploitation in all its forms.

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