Visa knew Pornhub was hosting child pornography and will be put on trial


A Californian judge has confirmed that there was a potential involvement of Visa in the case of child pornography present on Pornhub. When questioned, the payment system company presented a fairly approximate defence.

A judge has upheld some of the allegations against Visa in the Pornhub child pornography case.

© Getty – Justin Sullivan

Bad news for Visa, which finds itself involved in a case that the company would have gone well. It all starts in December 2020, when the New York Times publishes a forum against Pornhub and its tolerance of content involving rape and child pornography. In the process, Visa suspended its activities with all the sites of MindGeek, parent company of Pornhub, forcing the porn giant to withdraw 80% of the content hosted on its various platforms. That said, Visa later resumed business with MindGeek, saying it has no control over what is posted on the company’s various platforms.

Charges upheld against Visa

But on Friday, July 29, Judge Cormac Carney upheld allegations that Visa conspired with MindGeek, profiting from the dissemination of child sex videos. Indeed, the judge found there was reason to believe that Visa knowingly processed payments that allowed MindGeek to monetize “a substantial amount of child pornography”. This is why the investigation has been extended until December 30.

The court can easily infer that Visa intended to help MindGeek monetize child pornography.

Cormac Carney, judge in charge of the case

Despite this, the judge granted Visa’s request that allegations that the company knowingly participated in the “child sex trafficking” be abandoned.

A rough defense

Visa’s defense hinges on the fact that, for the company, all blame should lie with other parties directly involved in the monetization of child pornography. Furthermore, “Visa condemns sex trafficking, sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse materials as repugnant to [ses] values ​​and [son] objective”said a spokesperson for the company.

But Visa could be held partly responsible for the damages, because it maintained “open the means by which MindGeek carried out its criminal act knowing that it was committed”. Indeed, the judge considers that Visa could have prevented the damage caused. The tribunal has a clear example in the column published in the New York Times which shows how Visa could have taken action that would have “affected how MindGeek approaches child pornography”.

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