Today Mastercard suddenly reveald that it would no longer process payments for Pornhub, one of the world's most popular adult websites, after it found “unlawful content” on the platform.
This comes in the wake of serious allegations that Pornhub not only hosted sexual assault, revenge porn and child abuse, they monatised and profited from the content.
Mastercard has now directed third-party financial institutions who connect Pornhub to the Mastercard network, to cease all transactions between the two entities from today.
“Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site,” Mastercard added that the company will continue to investigate the content on other sites it has ties to.
Earlier this week, both Mastercard and Visa announced they were launching independent investigations into Pornhub after the New York Times published a searing column. The paper alleged the adult entertainment giant Mingeek openly hosts illegal content, including revenge porn, and videos of sexual assault and child abuse.
Visa is still currently reviewing the allegations, surrounding Mindgeek. So for the time being Visa will now also suspend Pornhub's acceptance privileges until their investigation is complete.
The adult website's business could be left finiancially strangled, if more companies follow in Mastercard and Paypal's footsteps to cut ties with Pornhub.
Pornhub's website appears to have not yet been updated as it still apprared to accept. Visa, Mastercard, Discover and JCB as forms of payment.
Pornhub has also come under fire from the public and Congress since the New York Times column was published Friday.
In response, Pornhub revealed on Tuesday, it would overhaul how the company operates. Now only allowing verified users to post content, banning downloading from the platform and expanding moderation.
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill that would allow victims to sue websites like Pornhub for hosting illegal content depicting them.
“We shouldn't have to pass a law to keep companies from profiting by sharing, without consent, intimate images. But we do,” one of the bill's co-sponsors, Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), said in a statement Wednesday. “The harm that these companies cause is extraordinary, lasts a lifetime, and should be unthinkable.”
It will be worth keeping an eye on this story over the new few weeks. It is going to get considerably bigger as more revelations are revealed.