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Pornhub: Mastercard severs links with pornography site

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Mastercard says it is ending the use of its cards on the pornography platform Pornhub after a review confirmed the presence of unlawful content.

A New York Times investigation accused the site of being “infested” with child-abuse and rape-related videos.

Pornhub, which has denied the claims, called Mastercard’s actions “exceptionally disappointing”.

Fellow payments giant Visa has suspended use of its cards on the site pending the outcome of its own review.

Mastercard launched its inquiry after Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof named it in his New York Times article, saying he “didn’t see why search engines, banks or credit-card companies” should “bolster” Pornhub.

“Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,” a statement from Mastercard said. “We instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance.”

The company said it was continuing to investigate possible illegal material on other websites.

Mastercard says it is ending the use of its cards on the pornography platform Pornhub after a review confirmed the presence of unlawful content.

A New York Times investigation accused the site of being “infested” with child-abuse and rape-related videos.

Pornhub, which has denied the claims, called Mastercard’s actions “exceptionally disappointing”.

Fellow payments giant Visa has suspended use of its cards on the site pending the outcome of its own review.

Mastercard launched its inquiry after Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof named it in his New York Times article, saying he “didn’t see why search engines, banks or credit-card companies” should “bolster” Pornhub.

“Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,” a statement from Mastercard said. “We instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance.”

The company said it was continuing to investigate possible illegal material on other websites.

Pornhub is free to use but users can pay £9.99 a month for higher-quality video streams and advert-free and exclusive content.

Its content is mostly uploaded by its own community and publicly viewable. However, the company said every video uploaded was reviewed by human moderators.

In its most recent annual review, Pornhub said it had had 42 billion site visitors in 2019 and more than 6.83 million videos had been uploaded, with a combined viewing time of 169 years. It did not say how many moderators it employed.

Kristof claimed searches for “under-age” videos yielded many results and while not all featured children, some appeared to.

Pornhub said it had “zero tolerance” for child sexual abuse and used a combination of tools from Google, YouTube and Microsoft to help it detect and remove illegal material.–BBC

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