February 5, 2020

Is Visa Processing Payments for Sex Trafficking Porn Videos? It’s Likely.

The credit card company, Visa, is partnering with the pornography industry by processing payments for pornography with themes of sexual violence, racism, and incest – and sometimes even videos of real-life sex trafficking victims.

It is impossible for the pornography industry to judge from the content of a video or image whether force, fraud, psychological coercion, social manipulation, etc, were used to instigate it. This is especially true considering many sex traffickers and abusers will groom victims to claim that they are operating of their own free will.

It is impossible to assume the pornography industry has any real metric to measure consent in any porn on its site, aside from complaints from victims of non-consensually shared porn (which is insufficient since estimated 1/25 Americans are victims of this kind of abuse & many never know about nonconsensually-shared porn of themselves.)


BELOW ARE JUST A FEW EXAMPLES OF SEX TRAFFICKING, SEXUAL ABUSE, CHILD ABUSE, AND MORE INTERSECTING WITH MAINSTREAM PORNOGRAPHY:

  • Videos of a 15-year-old child sexual abuse and sex trafficking victim were found on PornHub (a major porn site that Visa partners with.) 
  • PornHub (a major porn site that Visa partners with) left videos of sex trafficking victims up on their site, even for months after civil charges have been filed in their case, most likely in order to benefit from increased web traffic.
  • Derek Hay, one of the pornography industry-leading agents, has been accused by several women “of fraud, sexual abuse and links to an illegal escort business — accusations including coercing performers to pay off ‘unconscionable’ fees and penalties either in cash or by performing sexual acts on him.” NOTE: these accusations fall under the definition of sex trafficking.
  • Watch this video about the story of a young woman who was sex trafficked into pornography through what she thought was going to be a modeling job.
  • An ex-producer for Hustler spoke out about the ubiquitous use of drugs on mainstream pornography sets. Note: drugs are often used to facilitate sex trafficking or to push past a woman’s initial sexual boundaries (i.e. sexual abuse.)
  • Another case of sex trafficking victims being used in pornography: “[the man] videotaped and otherwise documented the BDSM he engaged in with [the woman], forced her to maintain an online website, and kept all the profits from the website.”
  • In this case, a man would tape himself drugging and raping women, and then sell the footage to online pornography sites.
  • The FBI reports that in another case of sex trafficking “Between February 2004 and February 2009, the indictment says, [the sex trafficker/abuser] tortured [the victim] on live webcasts on the Internet.” Note that most mainstream pornography websites today include live webcam videos, which can easily be featuring coerced and abused victims because there is no fool-proof way to authenticate their consent.

As long as the Visa credit card partners with the pornography industry, they are at risk of processing payments for videos of sex trafficking victims. It’s time for Visa to stop processing payments for porn.

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