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Pornhub Allows Visa to Monetize Abuse Lawsuit

2022-08-02T09:05:11.159Z

Because Visa knew that Pornhub was distributing videos showing the sexual abuse of minors, both companies are being sued. A US judge has cleared the way for this.



Enlarge image

Distressed: Mindgeek subsidiary Pornhub

Photo: ETHAN MILLER / AFP

Californian Serena Fleites, along with 33 other women, is suing two large companies: the porn provider MindGeek, whose subsidiaries include the Pornhub platform, and the payment and credit card provider Visa.

Fleites alleges that a sex video of her was distributed against her will on Pornhub and other MindGeek porn sites.

She was only 13 years old at the time of the recording.

It took MindGeek several weeks to remove the video after its complaint, but in the meantime it had been downloaded and reuploaded multiple times by users.

MindGeek benefited from the advertising revenue that the video brought in.

And Visa knew that the porn sites contained material showing the sexual abuse of minors - and still processed payments for users' subscriptions.

The payment service provider had tried to have the lawsuit against itself declared invalid.

The company has now failed.

A California court found the plaintiffs' allegations to be credible.

The decision is not accompanied by a guilty verdict, which could at best come at the end of the process, which can now be pushed ahead.

Judge Cormac Carney wrote in his ruling that it was plausible that Visa "intended to help MindGeek monetize child pornography."

The payment service provider has provided MindGeek with "a much-needed tool - its payment network - with the alleged knowledge that there is plenty of monetized child pornography on MindGeek's websites".

The case of Fleites became known in December 2020 when the New York Times published a long article about the young woman's story of suffering.

As a result, Visa discontinued its payment services for MindGeek, as did Mastercard.

According to MindGeek, it deleted ten million videos from its platforms and changed its upload options: only users who have confirmed their identity are allowed to upload videos themselves.

The two MindGeek bosses, Feras Antoon and David Tassilo, resigned a few weeks ago – shortly after the publication of another article in the »New Yorker« that was critical of Pornhub.

For the time being, however, they remain shareholders.

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Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-08-02

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