May 14, 2020

STATEMENT – American Express Urged to End Transactions for Porn Company

Washington, DC (May 14, 2020) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is calling on American Express to fully prohibit processing payments for the pornography industry in light of a new admission that AmEx makes an exception to its no-porn policy for one company.

According to the BBC, “A spokesperson for American Express told the BBC that while the global policy still stood, American Express had a pilot with one company that allowed for payment to certain pornography streaming websites if the payment was made within the US and on a US consumer credit card.”

“American Express’s one exception allows their cards to be used on a website called TeenFidelity. At a time when our law enforcement is awash in child sexual abuse material and demand for these abuse images is increasing thanks to the normalization of sex with youth in mainstream pornography, American Express should be ashamed that their one exception legitimizes sexual abuse and exploitation of teens,” said Dawn Hawkins, senior vice president and executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

We urge American Express to fully cease partnering with the hardcore pornography industry. It is hypocritical to claim to have a no-porn policy unless the company complies with that policy in every case. American Express must stop aiding sexual abuse and harm,” Hawkins said.

Recently, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and other child safety and anti-sexual exploitation advocates and organizations from 13 countries sent a joint letter to major credit card and payment processing companies – including American Express — requesting them to stop processing payments for the hardcore pornography industry – marking the first international effort to do so.

“The popular tube pornography sites often fail to accurately judge or verify consent or age in any videos on their sites, let alone live webcam videos. Some don’t even ask the age of people uploading pornographic videos,” said Haley McNamara, director of the new International Centre on Sexual Exploitation in the UK, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and one of the letter’s signatories.

“Tragically, this has resulted in worldwide cases of rape, child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and non-consensually shared pornography (or ‘revenge porn’) being uploaded onto mainstream pornography websites. It is long past time for mainstream companies like American Express to stop propping up an industry that is inherently built on sexual exploitation,” McNamara added.

NCOSE has mounted an international grassroots effort to request that these credit card companies stop processing porn industry payments through a petition for individuals to sign: https://action.endsexualexploitation.org/w74qhyy.

Learn more about the new International Centre on Sexual Exploitation: https://endsexualexploitation.org/icose/.

About International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE)
Utilizing cutting edge tactics for private and public policy advocacy and building on a decade of coalition-building experience, the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE) works to bolster the global abolitionist movement.

Further Reading