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Dublin Rape Crisis Centre welcomes move by VISA and Mastercard to block Pornhub payments

Last year, Pornhub attracted 42 billion visits – or 115 million visits per day – to its website.

DRCC CEO Noeline Blackwell
DRCC CEO Noeline Blackwell
Image: Sam Boal

THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has welcomed the move by VISA and Mastercard to block their customers from using their credit cards to make purchases on the Pornhub website.

The credit card companies made the move following accusations that appeared in the New York Times last week that the pornographic website showed views of unlawful sexual conduct.

Pornhub has strenuously denied such allegations and last week announced steps to protect against images of abuse, nonconsensual activity including a ban on unverified users uploading material.

Last year, Pornhub attracted 42 billion visits – or 115 million visits per day – to its website.

In an interview, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Noeline Blackwell stated that the decision by the credit card companies not to allow customers to make purchases on the Pornhub website is “entirely correct”.

Blackwell stated that the approach by VISA and Mastercard “is a reasonable and proper way for a commercial entity with any integrity to operate and not to support such alleged illegal activity”.

Blackwell stated: “Companies, including advertisers, that continue to support sites and platforms such as Pornhub have to ask themselves the questions that VISA and Mastercard have asked.”

The operator of Pornhub, Mindgeek has a strong Irish business connection where one of its subsidiaries, MG Billing Limited has generated revenues of €1 billion between 2014 and 2018.

The Dublin-based company collects subscriptions from premium users for the Mindgeek global porn empire and revenues for 2018 totalled €220.9m – or a weekly average of €4.2 million

The combined revenues of $424.34m for 2018 and 2017 at the Dublin Mindgeek company follow revenues of $222.19m in 2016; $233.79m in 2015 and $193.3m in 2014. The company – which set up here in 2012 – has no employees here.

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The credit card companies made their decision following a 3,750-word investigation in the New York Times into Pornhub earlier this month.

Last Thursday, Mastercard stated that it was terminating use of its cards on Pornhub after its own investigation confirmed violations of standards prohibiting unlawful conduct on the site.

In its own statement, Visa stated: “We are instructing the financial institutions who serve MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network,” pending the completion of its investigation.

In a statement, Pornhub called the actions “exceptionally disappointing”.

It stated: “This news is crushing for the hundreds of thousands of models who rely on our platform for their livelihoods.”

About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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