Judge refuses to remove Visa from Pornhub case on child porn

A federal judge refused to remove Visa from a court case alleging it helped MindGeek — Pornhub’s parent company — monetize child porn. In a July 29 decision, US District Judge Cormac Carney accused the payment processor of refusing to sever ties with MindGeek despite knowing that Pornhub and other MindGeek-owned pornography sites were distributing child pornography. The lawsuit was filed by a woman whose underage videos were posted on Pornhub without her permission.

“If Visa knew there was a significant amount of child pornography on MindGeek’s sites, which the court must accept as true at this stage of the trial, then it was aware that it was processing child pornography monetization and siphoning money from advertisers to MindGeek for ads playing alongside child pornography such as the plaintiff’s videos,” Judge Carney wrote.

Visa has argued that it is an “inadmissible defendant” in the case and does not tolerate illegal activity. “Visa condemns sex trafficking, sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse materials as contrary to our values ​​and purpose as a company. This pre-trial decision is disappointing and misrepresents Visa’s role, policies and practices. Visa does not tolerate the use of our network for illegal activity. We continue to believe that Visa is an improper defendant in this case,” a Visa spokesman wrote in an email Diversity.

Pornhub and other MindGeek porn sites regularly feature non-consensual or underage porn videos, according to recent reports in both and the . MindGeek has claimed that protocols are in place to prevent posting and reposting of such illegal material on its website. In 2020, MindGeek banned all unverified users from posting on its websites and subsequently removed millions of uploaded videos. In order to post on MindGeek Properties, a user must submit their government-issued ID to a third-party company and verify their identity.

“If the court can actually examine the facts, we are confident that the plaintiff’s claims will be dismissed on the merits. MindGeek has zero tolerance for the publication of illegal content on its platforms and has implemented the most comprehensive security measures in the history of user-generated platforms,” ​​a MindGeek spokesperson wrote diversity.

The Montreal-based company has fallen into confusion after years of media attention over what critics believe is a flawed moderation process that allows illegal content to thrive on its porn sites. Both the CEO and COO of MindGeek were abruptly hired in June. The company also laid off an unspecified number of employees this summer.

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Russell Falcon

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