Pornhub investigated for allegedly allowing 'child rape videos' and 'footage of sex with unconscious women' on site

PORNHUB is being investigated by credit card giants Visa and Mastercard after an opinion columnist claimed the pornographic website contained videos of rape and child sexual abuse material.

In a New York Times column, Nicholas Kristof wrote the website showed rape scenes, revenge porn and other explicit material taken without permission of the participants.


"The issue is not pornography but rape," Kristof wrote. "Let's agree that promoting assaults on children or on anyone without consent is unconscionable."

"Its site is infested with rape videos," Kristof continued. "It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags. 

Pornhub vehemently denied such claims, saying it was "irresponsible and flagrantly untrue" to suggest it carried such images of child sexual abuse material.

In the same statement to the AP, Pornhub also said it has moderators that screen every upload to the site and removes illegal content immediately.


The two credit card companies aren't the first payment services to investigate its relationship with Pornhub, the tenth-most-visited site on the internet.

Last year, PayPal stopped processing payments for the website, owned by pornography conglomerate MindGeek.

Kristof called for credit card companies to look into their relationship. Following Kristof's story, Visa and Mastercard announced they would be looking into such allegations.

"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 AP Sunday.

The credit card company said if it found Pornhub to be violating the law or bank policies, it would be banned from accepting Visa payments.

Mastercard likewise said it would be looking into the site, promising "immediate action" if the allegations were true.

"We are investigating the allegations raised in the New York Times and are working with MindGeek’s bank to understand this situation," Mastercard told the AP.

When asked, American Express said its policy prohibits the card from being used on "digital adult content websites."

The column also prompted Senators to ask the Justice Department to look into such illicit material on the website.

"The Department of Justice needs to open an investigation into the scumbags who run Mindgeek," said Senator Ben Sasse in an interview Friday. "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," Sasse continued. "They need to be investigated, and the DOJ needs more urgency about building cases against creeps."

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