Visa Must Cut Ties With Pornography Companies That Facilitate Child Sex Abuse, Trafficking, Assault 

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WASHINGTON, DC (January 25, 2022) – Ahead of Visa’s annual shareholders meeting today, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is urging Visa to cut ties with entities that have facilitated child sexual abuse material, trafficking, sexual assault, and image-based sexual abuse. 
 
“Visa has processed financial transactions for institutions facilitating sex trafficking and child sexual abuse material, such as Pornhub (and other MindGeek-owned entities), OnlyFans, and Seeking (formerly Seeking Arrangement.) It’s time for Visa to take a meaningful stand instead of piecemeal solutions, pausing and re-starting financial partnerships, with no measurable improvements. If Visa wants to be out of the business of sexual exploitation it should stop processing payments for these, and similar, platforms,” said Haley McNamara, vice president of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and director of the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation. 

“While Visa paused Pornhub payments following a 2020 New York Times exposé revealing child sexual abuse material proliferates on the site, Visa reinstated its relationship with Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek, and continues to process payments for MindGeek’s other exploitative pornography sites. Visa also processes advertisement purchases through MindGeek-owned TrafficJunky. Advertising makes up 60% of MindGeek’s revenue. 

“OnlyFans is facing scrutiny by law enforcement, policymakers, and investigative reporters for criminal behavior and exploitation such as child sex abuse material, sex trafficking, sexual harassment, and image-based sexual abuse. A whistleblower revealed that OnlyFans’ moderators were advised to ignore illegal content on the site especially if an account was profitable. Despite the mounting evidence of criminal activity and insufficient mechanisms to mitigate harm on its platform, Visa continues to process payments for OnlyFans. 
 
“Visa has a corporate responsibility to ensure its policies will not cause harm, and as such, Visa should implement common sense measures like age and consent verification for anyone who appears in pornographic videos or images. Visa has refused to meet with survivors of sex trafficking and law enforcement who can confirm the existence of trafficking and other forms of sexual abuse on these sites,” said McNamara. 

The International Centre on Sexual Exploitation, along with 62 survivors and advocates representing eleven countries, sent a March 2021 letter to Visa requesting it cut ties with all MindGeek-owned entities. 
 
“Visa must stop profiting from child sexual abuse material, sex trafficking, sexual assault, image-based sexual abuse, and racist content that proliferates on pornography and prostitution sites. Visa shareholders must hold its executives to account,” McNamara concluded. 

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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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