Pornhub Responds to Allegations of Allowing Child Abuse Videos After Visa, Mastercard Announce Investigations

The investigations were confirmed by Visa and Mastercard following a piece from 'Times' columnist Nicholas Kristof. Pornhub says the allegations are false.


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Pornhub has decried recent allegations of child abuse being featured on its site, saying over the weekend any such accusations are "flagrantly untrue."

The statement comes amid reports that both Visa and Mastercard are aiming to investigate their respective business relationships with the wildly popular porn service. These investigations, per MarketWatch, are a response to a recent piece from New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof that was published last Friday.

A Visa rep said Sunday that the company was "aware of the allegations" and were now "actively engaging" with financial institutions and Pornhub's parent company MindGeek. In a similar statement, a Mastercard rep said they were "working with MindGeek’s bank to understand this situation."

In the Timespiece, Kristof states that Pornhub "is like YouTube" in the sense that it allows the general public to share their own work. He goes on to say:

"A great majority of the 6.8 million new videos posted on the site each year probably involve consenting adults, but many depict child abuse and nonconsensual violence. Because it’s impossible to be sure whether a youth in a video is 14 or 18, neither Pornhub nor anyone else has a clear idea of how much content is illegal."

Kristof also includes mention of a 15-year-old girl who went missing in Florida and was later found by her mother, according to the piece, "in 58 sex videos" on the site.

In a statement to Complex on Monday, Pornhub called ridding the internet of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) "one of the most crucial issues" facing platforms today. 

"Any assertion that we allow CSAM is irresponsible and flagrantly untrue," a Pornhub rep said. "We have zero tolerance for CSAM. Pornhub is unequivocally committed to combating CSAM, and has instituted an industry-leading trust and safety policy to identify and eradicate illegal material from our community."

The statement also pointed to a comparison of stats on the removal of incidents of CSAM across other platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

"Pornhub has actively worked to employ extensive measures to protect the platform from such content," the rep said.

Read the full Pornhub statement below:

Eliminating illegal content and ridding the internet of child sexual abuse material is one of the most crucial issues facing online platforms today, and it requires the unwavering commitment and collective action of all parties.

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