Pornhub panics as politicians take aim and credit companies cut ties

By Jonathon Van Maren

Last week Monday, I covered Nicholas Kristof’s devastating exposé of Pornhub in the New York Times. Those of us involved in the anti-porn movement have been highlighting this problem for years, and it appears that politicians and corporations are finally being jolted into action. Pornhub is frantically attempting to blunt the damage after ignoring similar reports from advocacy groups and victims, and their reaction (after dismissing countless stories of rape and abuse on their sites) indicates that they are genuinely afraid of what the backlash will bring. And the backlash has begun.

In a follow-up column, Kristof noted that government forces finally seem to be in motion. Four senators, Maggie Hassan, Josh Hawley, Jonie Ernst, and Thom Tillis (and I’m genuinely surprised that there aren’t more of them) “introduced bipartisan legislation to make it easier for rape victims to sue porn companies that profit from videos of their assaults.” Senator Jeff Merkley is also drafting a law that will regulate porn companies, and apparently Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that his government is also willing to draft regulations for porn platforms.

Both Visa and Mastercard have announced that they will be cutting ties with Pornhub and that their cards will no longer be compatible with the porn giant. Discover Financial Services announced that it would be following suit (American Express Co. had already rendered their cards unusable for porn sites, and PayPal cut them off in 2019.) Mastercard stated that their investigation of the site found illegal content—Visa’s investigation is ongoing, but Pornhub is suspended from using its services until completion.


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