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Visa, Mastercard Reviewing Relationship With Pornhub Following NYT Column Alleging The Site Is ‘Infested With Rape Videos’

Pornhub (Credit: Shutterstock/Pe3k)

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • Major credit card companies are reviewing their relationship with Pornhub following the publication of a New York Times column alleging that Pornhub is “infested with rape videos.”
  • “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. 
  • Pornhub told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a Monday statement that the allegations are “irresponsible and flagrantly untrue.”

Major credit card companies are reviewing their relationship with Pornhub following the publication of a New York Times column alleging that Pornhub is “infested with rape videos.”

“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 told the Associated Press Sunday, noting that Pornhub will be prohibited from accepting any Visa payments if the massive pornography company is found to be violating the law. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sasse Demands Investigation Into Pornhub Following Report That Pornhub ‘Is Infested With Rape Videos’)

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.”

Kristof accused Pornhub of monteizing “child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags,” in a Friday New York Times op-ed.

Pornhub told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a Monday statement that the allegations are “irresponsible and flagrantly untrue.”

“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 [Child Sexual Abuse Material],” the pornography company said in a statement to the DCNF.

“Any assertion that we allow CSAM is irresponsible and flagrantly untrue,” the Pornhub statement continued. “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.”

The massively popular pornography website has been listed the 10th-most-visited website in the world, with 3.5 billion visits a month, and profits from almost three billion ad impressions every day, he wrote.

“A search for ‘girls under18′ (no space) or ’14yo’ leads in each case to more than 100,000 videos,” Kristof wrote. “Most aren’t of children being assaulted, but too many are.” (RELATED: Pornography And Sex Trafficking Are ‘Completely Interwoven,’ Activists Warn)

His work echoes the accusations of many anti-pornography and anti-sexual exploitation activists: that Pornhub profits from exploitative material and does little to remove violent sexual crimes, sometimes against minors, from its website.

Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse told the Daily Caller News Foundation Friday that the Department of Justice must open an investigation into allegations against PornHub.

“The Department of Justice needs to open an investigation into the scumbags who run Mindgeek,” Sasse said. “Sexual exploitation and human trafficking are abhorrent, period. A decent society should be working to end this.”

“It is completely unacceptable that Pornhub and its parent company Mindgeek make money from rape, sexual abuse, and the exploitation of minors,” the senator, who also called on the DOJ to investigate Pornhub in March, added. “They need to be investigated, and the DOJ needs more urgency about building cases against creeps.”

The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

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