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Major Credit Card Companies ‘Reviewing’ Relationship With PornHub Following Reports Of Racist, Violent Content
OLAND - 2020/01/03: In this photo illustration a Visa credit card and Mastercard debit cards are seen displayed. (Photo Illustration by Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Major credit card companies Mastercard and Visa are reportedly reconsidering their relationship with pornography mega-site PornHub after a New York Times columnist accused the site of being “infested” with racist, violent, misogynistic, and exploitative content, including, allegedly, the sexual assault of children.

The NYT’s Nicholas Kristof made the allegations in a wide-ranging report for the paper’s Sunday Review, accusing the site, which brings in more than 3 billion visitors per day, of failing to effectively moderate user-uploaded content.

Of the 6.8 million videos uploaded to the site each year, Kristof says, “many depict child abuse and non-consensual violence,” creating a site that is “infested with rape videos.” PornHub, he suggests, is turning a hefty profit off of “child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags.”

Because it is difficult to tell whether a video participant is, in fact, underage, Kristof notes, PornHub can never truly have a “clear idea of how much content is illegal.”

But, as Kristof points out, it seems other social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, have little problem identifying problem content when it’s uploaded by their users — content that can become pervasive if not policed.

“Facebook removed 12.4 million images related to child exploitation in a three-month period this year. Twitter closed 264,000 accounts in six months last year for engaging in sexual exploitation of children,” the New York Times notes. “By contrast, Pornhub notes that the Internet Watch Foundation, an England-based nonprofit that combats child sexual abuse imagery, reported only 118 instances of child sexual abuse imagery on its site over almost three years, seemingly a negligible figure.”

PornHub denies Kristof’s allegations and told media in a statement, “Due to the nature of our industry, people’s preconceived notions of Pornhub’s values and processes often differ from reality — but it is counterproductive to ignore the facts regarding a subject as serious as CSAM” — an acronym for “Child Sexual Abuse Material.”

“Any assertion that we allow CSAM is irresponsible and flagrantly untrue,” the site said. “We have zero tolerance for CSAM. Pornhub is unequivocally committed to combating CSAM, and has instituted an industry-leading trust and safety policy to identify and eradicate illegal material from our community.”

Financial institutions that allow PornHub to use their services to process credit card transactions, though, told the Daily Caller that they are investigating the New York Times’ claims and that they are “reviewing” their relationship with the online pornography platform.

“We are aware of the allegations, and we are actively engaging with the relevant financial institutions to investigate, in addition to engaging directly with the site’s parent company, MindGeek,” Visa said in a statement to media.

“Mastercard also promised to take ‘immediate action’ if Pulitzer prize-winning opinion columnist Nicholas Kristof‘s allegations are true, telling the AP: ‘We are investigating the allegations raised in the New York Times and are working with MindGeek’s bank to understand this situation,'” per the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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