Dignity Defense Alert_July 2020_PayPal
July 14, 2020

Dignity Defense Alert: PayPal severs ties with Pornhub

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is honored to recognize PayPal in July 2020’s Dignity Defense Alert for severing ties with Pornhub in an industry-leading move that proved PayPal truly does put “people at the center of everything [they] do.” 

By ceasing to process payments to Pornhub, PayPal hampered a predatory corporation’s ability to perpetuate and profit from abuse and exploitation.

.@PayPal has ended its partnership with Pornhub (a.k.a. #Traffickinghub). Spread the word to encourage other corporations to fight against sexual abuse and exploitation by doing the same. Click To Tweet

Pornhub’s economic model incentivizes the creation of highly exploitive, derogatory, and discriminatory pornography which often depict themes of extreme violence against women and children, racism, and incest. Even more harrowing, an increasing number of videos depicting actual instances of rape, child trafficking, and revenge pornography have been identified on their site with ease due to inadequate verification for age or consent of those featured.

One such victim, 14-year-old Rose Kalemba, was kidnapped at knifepoint and sexually assaulted for 12 hours. The rapists then proceeded to post the video of her rape and torture on Pornhub. Despite months of Rose pleading with the website to take down the video, it wasn’t until legal action was pursued that it was finally removed—after millions had the opportunity to view and re-exploit her trauma. Of course, due to downloading capabilities, her videotaped torture is now available in perpetuity. Rose’s story is far from the exception and the harm to victims that Pornhub profits from is clear. 

Increasingly even so-called porn “performers” are coming forward and exposing the inherent degradation and trauma that pervades the porn industry and uncovering what is truly happening behind the camera—even when the material is billed as “consensual.” Famous for her many appearances in pornographic content, Jenna Jameson has emerged as a leading voice against the porn industry and Pornhub itself. Jameson has not shied away from blunt assessment of reality and recently tweeted “PornHub profits off of the rape and torture of women and children. Take a stand against these evil monsters at MindGeek (their parent company). Stop the use of Pornhub!” 

Cutting ties with Pornhub demonstrated that PayPal does not support the abuse and exploitation of vulnerable adults and children. Unfortunately, many other other credit card companies are still processing payments for Pornhub and other porn sites.

The International Centre on Sexual Exploitation in the UK (a subsidiary of US-based NCOSE) has launched a grassroots campaign with human rights activists from 13 different countries calling credit card executives to stop propping up the porn industry. Haley McNamara, director of ICOSE, shared that “Major credit card companies continue to provide critical infrastructure to the exploitative pornography industry. As international anti-exploitation leaders, we urgently call on these financial institutions to cease processing payments and thereby refuse to aid human rights violations.”

We are grateful to PayPal for setting an industry standard, forgoing a lucrative relationship, and placing people over potential profits. We are hopeful others will soon follow suit.

Would you help us encourage them to do so? We have three quick and easy-to-use Action Steps you can take right now.

ACTION 1: Share this article on social media.

ACTION 2: Thank PayPal for cutting ties with Pornhub 

ACTION 3: Add your voice to the international campaign calling on credit card executives to stop propping up porn sites. You can send them all an email using the Action form here.

The Dignity Defense Alert is a new monthly campaign to recognize the people, companies, and nonprofits who are taking action to defend human dignity from any form of sexual abuse or exploitation.

In today’s world, it is easy to focus on those who are doing wrong and spend the entirety of our capacity on those who are abusing, or facilitating exploitation, or failing to prevent harm. There is incredible value in raising awareness and taking action on those issues. We at NCOSE focus much of our time and resources on doing just that. But we believe there is also value in acknowledging and raising awareness regarding the countless individuals and entities who are doing the right thing and fighting the good fight. While not every entity we recognize in the course of this campaign is perfect in this regard, we want to thank those that are taking important steps forward. 

We want to celebrate heroes who do what is right, and we want to applaud every milestone that we can in the journey towards a world free from sexual abuse and exploitation. Doing so both recognizes progress and encourages progress by holding up leaders and examples for others to follow, whether that is in the realm of corporations, NGOs, or individual advocates.

Do you have an individual, company, or nonprofit you would like to nominate to be recognized in a Dignity Defense Alert? Learn more and nominate entities here.

Contribute to Defend Human Dignity

Your gift today will help change policies and public opinion regarding sexual exploitation issues like pornography, sex trafficking, child abuse, and more.


Lina Nealon

Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives

Lina Nealon is committed to promoting the dignity of every human being and creating a society where everyone can reach their full potential.  As the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives, she spearheads NCOSE’s campaigns to hold corporations accountable for profiting from sexual exploitation. As Founding Director of Demand Abolition, Lina designed and led the first national program combatting the demand for paid sex that drives the global sex industry. Under her leadership, Demand Abolition coalesced a vastly diverse network of survivors, movement leaders, and allies across sectors and disciplines to implement tactics to stop sex buyers, disrupt commercial sex markets, and transform cultural norms around buying sex.  Lina was the leading architect of the Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation (CEASE), a collaboration between twelve major US cities measurably decreasing demand in their communities and a founder co-chair of the World Without Exploitation coalition.

Ms. Nealon has advised governors, attorneys general, mayors and other elected officials, police chiefs, leading philanthropists, and business leaders in promising practices to reduce demand and has drafted numerous policies and legislation at the federal, state, and local levels to stop exploitation. She co-chaired the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Anti-Trafficking Taskforce Demand Committee and was a founding member of Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Working Group on Modern Slavery. Ms. Nealon has provided expert commentary and has published articles for top-tier media including MSNBC, PBS, NPR, Boston Globe, Congressional Quarterly Review, Al Jazeera, etc.

A mother of three girls and a sexual assault survivor herself, Ms. Nealon is driven to elevate survivor leadership and promote women’s and girls’ empowerment. As a Policy Specialist and Trainer with the Institute for Inclusive Security, Lina ensured women’s significant representation in peace processes and reconstruction efforts across dozens of post-conflict countries. She served as Executive Director of Girls on the Run (Greater Triangle Area, NC), sat on the Women2Women Advisory Council, and has mentored numerous young women in building their confidence, leadership skills, and resilience. Lina and her husband Brian are raising four young, adventurous, nature-loving, socially-conscious abolitionists in Durham, North Carolina.

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