UPDATED:MasterCard Abandons Backpage.Com Over Adult Advertising, Visa Must Follow-Suit

NCOSE Press Statement logo

UPDATE: Visa Inc has joined MasterCard Inc and American Express Co in barring its credit cards from being used for “adult” ads on Backpage.com

July 1st Statement by NCSE’s Executive Director, Dawn Hawkins

Washington, DC – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) applauds MasterCard for exercising sound judgment by no longer allowing their credit cards to be used for placing ads on Backpage.com. MasterCard has chosen to reject profits that would be obtained through a website that is promoting prostitution and expediting online sex trafficking. NCSE has listed Backpage.com on its annual Dirty Dozen List of leading companies and groups that contribute to and profit from sexual exploitation for this very reason.

The war on sex trafficking must be all out and no American company should profit from the sexual exploitation of any human being. We are calling on Visa to follow the example of valuing human dignity above financial gain that has been set by MasterCard, and to cease doing business with Backpage.com.

Backpage.com is the leading U.S. website for prostitution advertising, generating nearly 80% of all the online prostitution advertising revenue. According to law enforcement officials Backpage sells trafficked women and children, daily. Backpage must stop the trafficking and exchanges of pornographic (sometimes child sexual abuse images) photos by eliminating the “adult services” section of their website. Until they do, financial and advertising companies cannot in good conscience do business with them.

To learn more about the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s Dirty Dozen List, please visit: https://endsexualexploitation.org/dirty-dozen/.

The Numbers


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


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


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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