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Accused of profiting on child sexual abuse, Visa halts Pornhub ad payments

Accused of profiting on child sexual abuse, Visa halts Pornhub ad payments

Enlarge (credit: Matt Cardy / Contributor | Getty Images News)

This week, a California court denied Visa’s motion to be dropped from a lawsuit alleging that Visa “intended to help” monetize child sexual abuse materials hosted on sites like Pornhub. In part, because the credit card company processed payments for ads featured alongside these videos, the judge determined that Visa will have to answer to victim claims that Visa provided the tool that made hosting illicit videos profitable.

Today, Visa responded to the court’s decision by suspending all advertising purchases from Pornhub owner MindGeek’s advertising arm, TrafficJunky. “During this suspension, Visa cards will not be able to be used to purchase advertising on any sites including Pornhub or other MindGeek affiliated sites,” Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., Visa chairman and CEO, wrote in a statement.

This move follows an earlier decision Visa made in December 2020 to stop allowing payments on MindGeek’s websites featuring user-generated content, like Pornhub. The new statement says that they decided to end advertising payments, too, because the California court’s decision “created new uncertainty about the role of TrafficJunky” in MindGeek’s alleged practice of posting illegal videos depicting content that Visa says it condemns.

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