Mastercard and Visa are investigating Pornhub connections for baby abuse

A picture of adult film actress Asa Akira will be shown on the Pornhub booth at AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2018 in Las Vegas on January 24, 2018.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

Mastercard and Visa are investigating their relationship with Pornhub after it is claimed that the popular porn site hosts content related to child sexual abuse.

The world’s largest credit card networks said they might cut ties with Pornhub and its Canadian parent company MindGeek because of the problem.

It comes after a column in the New York Times spreading detailed allegations of underage sex, rape, and revenge porn videos on Pornhub.

The report cites a number of first-hand accounts from victims who have appeared in such videos. Many said they were traumatized and left suicidal from the ordeal, according to the NYT.

“Any claim that we allow CSAM (child sexual abuse material) is irresponsible and blatantly false,” a Pornhub spokesperson told CNBC.

“Pornhub is clearly committed to fighting CSAM and has put in place an industry-leading trust and security policy to identify and eradicate illegal material from our community.”

Mastercard “is investigating the allegations made in the New York Times” and “is working with MindGeek’s bank to understand this situation,” a company spokesman told CNBC.

“If the allegations are well founded, we will take immediate action.”

Visa said it was “aware of the allegations” and “actively worked with relevant financial institutions and MindGeek” to investigate.

“If the site is found to be inconsistent with applicable laws or financial institutions’ policies and signing standards for acceptable use, they will no longer be able to accept Visa payments,” a Visa spokesperson told CNBC.

Over the weekend, billionaire Bill Ackman slammed Pornhub, saying American Express, Visa and Mastercard “should withhold or withdraw payments immediately until this is resolved”.

According to American Express, there is a global policy banning its cards from being accepted on adult digital content websites.

PayPal stopped processing payments to Pornhub last year.

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