Trafficking Survivors Plead With Visa To Cut Ties With Mindgeek, Pornhub’s Parent Company

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Sex trafficking survivors and advocates are pleading with Visa to finally cut ties with Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek, which owns several other major pornography websites.

The financial giant previously joined PayPal and Mastercard in banning payments using its cards on the Pornhub website late last year.

Now, however, a group of 62 men and women in cooperation with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) have written a letter to Visa CEO Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., calling on the company to extend its ban to MindGeek.

“We call on Visa to take the appropriate step and permanently sever ties with MindGeek, the owner of Pornhub and numerous other hardcore pornography websites, which is enabling and profiting from child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, non-consensual content, and sexual exploitation,” the letter declares. “By processing payments for this entity, your corporation is enabling this abuse to continue.”

“It was also revealed that Pornhub did not report child sexual abuse materials (CSAM, i.e. child pornography) to U.S. or Canadian child protection agencies from 2008-2020,” the letter goes on. “This is particularly egregious because Canada passed a law in 2011 requiring all companies in Canada to report CSAM.”

The letter also argues that MindGeek’s websites promote racism with categories and topics such as “exploited black teens,” “exploited African immigrants,” “black-on-black crime,” and “African sex slaves.”

“Visa can now have no excuse of ignorance that they are processing payments for one of the world’s most prolific sexual exploiters,” the letter states. “Visa must stop continuing to support the infrastructure of MindGeek — a decision that not only legitimizes a racist, criminally violent, and degrading company, but also leaves your corporation open to liability as well.”

Some trafficking and rape survivors have come forward over the years with stories of discovering videos of their abuse being peddled for profit on the website.

Rose Kalemba, who was assaulted when she was a teenage child, recalled begging and pleading with Pornhub to take down videos of her attack. It wasn’t until months later when Kalemba impersonated an attorney in an email that the videos were finally pulled.

Last year, the New York Times published a scathing op-ed on “The Children of Pornhub,” detailing several cases of girls and women whose abuse had been recorded and sold for obscene gain on the website.

The Times exposé pushed Pornhub to remove countless videos and create content regulations that had never previously existed, but survivors say that’s not enough.

Laila Mickelwait, a trafficking survivor advocate and the founder of the Traffickinghub petition, is still calling for the site to be taken down altogether. In an interview with Faithwire last year, Mickelwait said that as long as it continues to host unregulated, DIY pornography, Pornhub will always be “making money off of the exploitation, rape, and trafficking of hundreds if not thousands of women and girls who are victims, and their crime scenes are being hosted on their website.”

“They’re profiting off of those crime scenes,” she declared. “I think it’s something that we’ve known all along, but right now, we have evidence of what is actually taking place.”

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