Advocates For Sexually Exploited Score Another Big Win Against Porn Industry


Advocates for those exploited by the multi-billion-dollar porn industry scored another big win last week when Mastercard changed their global policies to cut off payment processing of porn sites that don’t verify age and consent.

Founder of Traffickinghub Laila Mickelwait cheered Wednesday, “Mastercard has enacted new rules that will cut off payment processing to all porn ‘tube’ sites IF they don’t VERIFY the AGE & CONSENT of EVERY INDIVIDUAL in every video. This is a huge step to prevent abuse.”Mickelwait also called on Visa to follow suit.“Mastercard Inc. is updating the requirements it sets for banks that process payments for sellers of adult content,” Bloomberg Business reported. “The banks will now have to ensure that sellers require ‘clear, unambiguous and documented consent’ in adult content, the payments network said in a blog post Wednesday. The firms will also be required to ensure websites document the age and verify the identity of anyone depicted in pictures and videos as well as those uploading the content.”

John Verdeschi, Mastercard’s senior vice president of customer engagement and performance, said in the blog post that the banks that “connect merchants to our network will need to certify that the seller of adult content has effective controls in place to monitor, block and, where necessary, take down all illegal content.”

“Mastercard is also requiring banks to ensure that sites have a review process prior to any content being published, as well as a system for complaints that addresses illegal or non-consensual activity within seven business days,” Bloomberg noted. “The payments network is also mandating that banks make sure that sites have an appeals process that allows for anyone depicted in adult videos or photos to request that the content be removed.”Back in December, Mastercard and Visa announced that their cards were barred from being used on embattled pornography site Pornhub. The move came on the heels of damning reporting concerning the site’s ethics and apparent hosting of illegal content.

Mastercard said at the time that it was “confirmed” through an investigation that there were “violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site.” Visa announced that they were “instructing the financial institutions who serve MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network.”

Mickelwait on Thursday posted a video about the latest victory against the porn industry. “New update on a huge victory in the fight against Big Porn mass sexual crime!” she captioned the post. “Mastercard has updated its global policy to not allow its card to be used on ANY porn site that doesn’t reliably verify the age & consent of every individual in every video!”

The advocate applauded Mastercard for implementing “common sense safety measures” to prevent sex trafficking and the proliferation of child pornography. Mickelwait also noted that Pornhub has yet to fix their verification of consent on the site, instead only consistently verifying those uploading videos, and not necessarily those in the videos.

“That’s not acceptable,” she said. “In many cases, the uploader is the trafficker, is the abuser, and the victim is an individual in the video.”

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