Written by Arlene Stinson
As at Aug. 4, 2022, both Visa and Mastercard have suspended service to the advertising arm of Pornhub, TrafficJunky.
This is a major victory for our Choose Change campaign. Advertising is a major source of revenue for porn sites. Defend Dignity has repeatedly asked Mastercard and Visa to cut off this pipeline of profit to sites hosting sexually exploitative material, including illegal material. By processing payments, credit cards companies allow the monetization of child sexual abuse and non-consensual sexual material.
The tipping point arrived on July 29, 2022, when an American judge ruled against Visa’s pre-trial application to be removed from a child human trafficking case. The judge said, “Visa’s conduct is intertwined with MindGeek’s criminal act…the Court can comfortably infer that Visa intended to help MindGeek monetize child porn from the very fact that Visa continued to provide MindGeek the means to do so and knew MindGeek was indeed doing so. Put yet another way, Visa is not alleged to have simply created an incentive to commit a crime, it is alleged to have knowingly provided the tool used to complete the crime.”
This strong statement of potential culpability prompted decisions by Visa and Mastercard to suspend payments specifically to TrafficJunky. Dismantling the ability of porn sites to monetize sexually violent images and abuse is key. Please, continue to come alongside Defend Dignity to pressure both Visa and Mastercard to cut ties with other porn sites hosting illegal and non-consensual sexually exploitative material. Exploitation supported by major financial companies cannot continue.
Go to Choose Change to thank Visa and Mastercard for this important change and to urge them to cut all types of ties with pornography sites.
Choose Change is a subset of Defend Dignity. It asks organizations and companies to fight sexual exploitation by doing more to protect their patrons from the harms of pornography.