“Following a thorough review, Visa will reinstate acceptance privileges for MindGeek sites that offer professionally produced adult studio content,” a Visa spokesperson said, according to Reuters.
Visa said the ban for processing payments for Pornhub, a well-known site for professionally produced adult content, will remain in effect until the investigation into the site is completed. Mastercard, a rival of Visa, also pulled payments processing from the site permanently, seemingly with no plans to reinstate them thus far.
The investigation centers around testimonies in a New York Times (NYT) report earlier this month, which chronicled a list of violent and illegal content hosted on Pornhub. The site denied the allegations and said it was using extensive measures to keep illegal content off the platform. That process included a team of human moderators tasked with reviewing every upload and flagging those which contained unlawful content, Reuters reported.
Days after the article, Pornhub decided to remove all content not uploaded by verified accounts. And the site introduced a ban on downloads of the videos, PYMNTS reported.
The NYT report went into detail in several interviews with people whose videos had been shared on the site, often nonconsensually, and several which involved violent assaults. Some of them, as well, involved unconscious women or underage girls. The videos, according to the people interviewed, often led to severe mental health issues or suicide attempts.
Pulitzer Price-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof, in the piece, called out Visa and Mastercard for still allowing payments from Pornhub while PayPal had already banned them in late 2019.
“And call me a prude, but I don’t see why search engines, banks or credit card companies should bolster a company that monetizes sexual assaults on children or unconscious women,” Kristof wrote in the piece.