Human Trafficking Survivor and Her Attorneys Gain Major Win in Pornhub/Visa Child Trafficking Case

PornHub Visa Case 2022

Visa has denied allegations that because it allowed ads to be purchased on MindGeek’s porn websites, it monetized child pornography

A federal judge refused to remove Visa from a lawsuit that alleges it aided MindGeek — the parent company of Pornhub — in monetizing child porn. In a decision issued on July 29th, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney accuses the payment processor of refusing to cut business ties with MindGeek, despite being aware that Pornhub and other MindGeek-owned pornography sites distributed child pornography. The lawsuit was filed by a woman whose underage videos were posted on Pornhub without her permission.

“With respect to MindGeek specifically, we suspended sites that contained user-generated content in December 2020 and acceptance on those sites has not been reinstated. Despite what you may have read in recent days, you cannot use your Visa card on Pornhub,” Visa Chairman and CEO Alfred Kelly Jr. said in a statement. “The legal decision, with which we disagree, has also created new uncertainty about the role of TrafficJunky, MindGeek’s advertising arm. Accordingly, we will suspend TrafficJunky’s Visa acceptance privileges based on the court’s decision until further notice.” He added that during the suspension, “Visa cards will not be able to be used to purchase advertising on any sites including Pornhub or other MindGeek affiliated sites.”

Visa lent to MindGeek its payment network with the alleged knowledge that there was a wealth of monetized child porn on MindGeek’s websites. If Visa was aware that there was a substantial amount of child porn on MindGeek’s sites, which the Court must accept as true at this stage of the proceedings, then it was aware that it was processing the monetization of child porn, moving money from advertisers to MindGeek for advertisements playing alongside child porn like Plaintiff’s videos. Judge Carney states, “Put another way, Visa is not alleged to have simply created an incentive to commit a crime, it is alleged to have knowingly provided the tool used to complete a crime.”

MindGeek is banking on the hope that the plaintiff’s claims will be dismissed for lack of merit once Carney is able to consider the facts in the case, a company spokesperson told Fox News Digital in a statement.

Visa alleged in its motion to dismiss that it did not have any substantial influence over MindGeek’s operations on its porn websites, but Carney wrote that “Visa quite literally did force MindGeek to operate differently, and markedly so, at least for a time” when it temporarily suspended payments for MindGeek after The New York Times published a disturbing Dec. 4, 2020, report detailing the abuse of minors and female victims on Pornhub including child rapes, revenge pornography, and illicit spycam videos.

The financial services company also stated that it could not be expected to police the billions of individual transactions Pornhub processes each year. But Carter says they are not being asked to do so. They are simply being asked to refrain from offering the tool with which a known alleged criminal entity performs its crimes. That is not a tall order and does not spell out an existential threat to the financial industry, the judge wrote.

The video apparently garnered 400,000 views by the time the Plantiff discovered it and continued to be viewed in the weeks it allegedly took for Pornhub to remove it. The complaint further alleges that the video was also downloaded and re-uploaded to the site several times. This example shows how child-victims are revictimized over and over again on illicit online sites many years later.

Judge Carney’s decision has opened the floodgates–creating a pathway for hundreds, if not thousands of potential victims to pursue justice against these major corporate abusers. This is a giant step towards making those that reap the most profit to be held accountable to ethical practices.