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Visa Suspends Pornhub Payments Amidst Child Sex Profiteering Claims

Visa has suspended payments for advertising on Pornhub  and parent company MindGeek after the payment company was accusing of facilitating the spread of child pornography.

Serena Fleites filed suit against Visa after discovering a past boyfriend uploaded a sexual video of her taken when she was 13.

The boyfriend uploaded the video to Pornhub without her knowledge or consent, where it was viewed 2.7 million times. After flagging this with parent company MindGeek it took then weeks to remove the illegal content.

Fleites claimed in court papers that the resultant trauma caused her to develop a heroin addiction, and attempt suicide a number of times.

“Although Serena is now sober, the long-term effects of Pornhub’s wrongdoing continue to this day,” the lawsuit reads.

“The original Pornhub videos of Serena continue to be disseminated through other platforms, including on MindGeek affiliated sites and other pornography sites.

“Serena remains estranged from certain family members. Throughout various stages of the past five years she was homeless and lived in her car.”

US District Judge Cormac Carney denied Visa’s appeal to dismiss the lawsuit, saying “the Court can comfortably infer that Visa intended to help MindGeek monetise child porn from the very fact that Visa continued to provide MindGeek the means to do so and knew MindGeek was indeed doing so.”

Visa said the pre-trial ruling is “disappointing and mischaracterises Visa’s role and its policies and practices,” calling itself an improper defendant in this case.

“We do not tolerate the use of our network for illegal activity,” Al Kelly, Visa’s CEO, said in a statement issued overnight.

“Let me be clear: Visa condemns sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse,” Kelly said. “It is illegal, and Visa does not permit the use of our network for illegal activity.”

“Our rules explicitly and unequivocally prohibit the use of our products to pay for content that depicts nonconsensual sexual behavior or child sexual abuse.”


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