Pornhub Falling: Visa and Mastercard Cut Ties with MindGeek’s Cash Cow

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With Visa and Mastercard’s closely-spaced announcements about cutting ties with Pornhub (Visa’s technically only committed to suspending payment processing for Pornhub pending an outcome in Visa’s own investigation) on December 10, 2020, the façade of impunity surrounding MindGeek’s internationally known and inherently exploitative cash cow has begun crumbling in earnest.

Visa and Mastercard have made the right decision to finally end any association with a profiteer of rape. These companies are now standing on the side of human dignity and we applaud Visa and Mastercard for making this bold step even as we continue to call on all other payment processors to do the same.

This victory follows on the heels of years of hard work and advocacy by grassroots advocates, an international coalition of NGOs, and brave survivor leadership. We are so grateful for all the dedication and perseverance that has been invested—often times behind the scenes—by so many tireless allies and advocates. Many of you were a crucial part of the effort that saw over 100,000 emails sent to Visa, Mastercard, and other international card companies in early 2020. Many of you were a vital part of putting pressure on Visa through our 2020 Dirty Dozen List. We are so grateful for the results and for the dedication of passionate advocates that made them possible.

The façade of impunity surrounding MindGeek’s Pornhub is crumbling! But the work is not over yet. Pornhub must face a full measure of justice. Click To Tweet

After many long years of building a business based on monetizing sexual abuse and exploitation, profiting from rape and child sexual abuse, ignoring victims and survivors, and promoting and normalizing material featuring racism, misogyny, sexual violence and more, Pornhub is finally on the cusp of facing justice for its myriad crimes and abuses as the house of cards MindGeek has attempted to build around it is quickly being leveled by the truth.

The decisions of Visa and Mastercard to finally block their cards from being used to fund the abusive, exploitative, and criminal exploits of Pornhub are monumental and represent a massive victory for survivors everywhere.

Although no amount of money can fix the damage that Pornhub has facilitated and monetized over the years, the move by these payment processing companies will go a long way toward impacting the bottom line that has allowed MindGeek to fuel rampant sexual abuse and exploitation through Pornhub—which is, by far, MindGeek’s most prominent public entity.

The Way to Fix the Pornography Industry's Rape Problem is to Abolish Pornography
The Way to Fix the Pornography Industry’s Rape Problem is to Abolish Pornography

Corporations can’t go to jail and as such they must be held accountable through our society’s court systems and financial institutions so that no corporation can get away with the rampant marginalization and exploitation of any people—especially the most vulnerable among us. That is why we have been working to publicly expose the abuse, exploitation, and criminality of Pornhub for years and why we specifically began a dialogue with – and a public campaign about – payment processing companies cutting ties with Pornhub (and all other sexually exploitative entities) back in early 2020.

The implications of Visa and Mastercard’s decisions will have important repercussions on Pornhub, but these decisions are not the end of the road. Pornhub and MindGeek must be held to full account for their crimes.

This is monumental! But it is still crucial that a full investigation of Pornhub be commissioned by the United States Department of Justice and members of Congress. Click To Tweet

As Pornhub is being held to account, though, it is also vital that we—as individuals and as a society—are ready to care for the people impacted by the financial fallout of these decisions and Pornhub’s demise. There are those who have been coerced and/or forced to “rely” on what amounts to commercial sex buying and selling via Pornhub who will need support and services in the wake of Pornhub’s demise. As Pornhub falls, we must help these survivors find healing and support—physically, emotionally, and practically.

Additionally, it is still crucial that a full investigation of Pornhub be commissioned by the United States Department of Justice and members of Congress. The abuse and crimes exposed by Nicholas Kristof’s article in the New York Times are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Pornhub and every survivor of MindGeek/Pornhub’s myriad crimes deserves to see justice served in its fullest measure.

Pornhub must be held accountable.

Pornhub must pay for its crimes.

Pornhub must be shut down.

If you have a minute, please use the embedded form below to thank both Visa and Mastercard for finally doing the right thing by cutting ties with Pornhub.

Thank Visa and Mastercard for Cutting Ties with Pornhub

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The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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