Pornhub, OnlyFans, and How Financial Institutions Want to Curb the Online Sex Trafficking – The American Spectator

F.Financial institutions play an essential role in preventing online sex trafficking, including monetizing the filmed sexual abuse of minors that is rampant on mainstream websites. Last year, Pornhub, the world’s most popular porn site, with 47 billion visits a year and enough content that it would take 169 years to watch the videos uploaded in a single year, became known worldwide and sentenced for facilitating and profiting from mass sexual crime, including child rape and abuse, sex trafficking, and a spectrum of illegal image-based sexual abuse.

In December 2020 there will be an explosive New York Times examination revealed Pornhub as a website « contaminated » with the filmed criminal sexual abuse of victims. The limelight for enabling this mega sex trading business has been put on the credit card companies, whose services make it possible to keep the exploitation profitable. Within a few days of the destructive synopsis, Mastercard Confirmed the presence of illegal content on the site, including child pornography, and was the first to be disconnected from Pornhub. Visa and Discover quickly followed. PayPal had already ceased business with the website in late 2019 after a Sunday times examination revealed dozens of illegal videos found on the site within minutes, some of which feature children ages 3 and up.

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These steps by the credit card companies to break away from Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek were made not only out of benevolence but also out of self-protection. Under the US Human Trafficking Victims Protection Act, a company that knowingly benefits from a sex trafficking company can be sued. In the case of Visa, the removal of its services from Pornhub in 2020 was too little and too late. The company was aware of sex trafficking and child exploitation long before the site was introduced New York Times Exposé, but decided to do business with the company anyway. Because of this, Visa was named as a defendant in a massive trial Precedent filed by attorneys Michael Bowe and Lauren Tabaksblat of New York law firm Brown Rudnick against Pornhub on behalf of 34 women, 14 of whom were children, when they were exploited for profit on the site.

Large porn sites like Pornhub have been working with little control or oversight for far too long, which allows them to widely distribute user-generated filmed sex acts without even the simplest of measures to prevent criminal abuse. Until December 2020, only one email address was required to upload to Pornhub. Anonymous, within minutes anyone around the world could upload content to the site without verifying that the person in the video was not a child or a rape victim. This is clearly an unacceptable practice for a company that profits from distributing and monetizing filmed sex acts. But Pornhub is not alone. Most user-generated porn sites operate in the same ruthless and negligent way.

The situation with Pornhub has put banks and credit card companies on high alert. Financial services actors recognize the serious liability risk they face if they continue to do business with websites exposed for profit from criminal sexual acts equivalent to human trafficking. They are now taking action to implement policies and regulations to prevent further abuse and reduce their own liability – as they should.

In response to the huge risks associated with doing big porn sites that don’t check the age or approval of the millions of videos they benefit from, Mastercard recently launched one new global protection policy which prohibits the use of their card on all user-generated pornography websites unless a website strictly moderates videos and images prior to uploading, along with age verification and unambiguous consent for each person displayed. These are, of course, sensible preventive measures that all pornography websites should have implemented from the moment they went live. These new guidelines are due to come into effect on October 15th.

OnlyFans, a user-generated content subscription site that makes $ 2 billion a year with millions of users, is one of the world’s most popular pornography distributors. The company shocked the public when it suddenly announced it would drop all pornographic content on October 1, before quickly reversing course after the backlash for the decision. With the deadline until October 15th to implement Mastercard’s required security measures, everyone can see that the timing is no coincidence.

It is fair to assume that OnlyFans has decided that it is too costly to adhere to the financial institutions’ new security measures that it relies on for its income. It is significant that the first reaction from the executives who made millions on the site was to rid the entire site of pornography instead of taking the tough protections required by credit card companies and banks.

Perhaps the problems these executives had to solve went deeper than they believed they could be fixed in the allotted time frame. You see, OnlyFans was recently exposed published by the BBC in several Investigations who exposed the exploitation of the website by minors, illegal content and bad faith moderation practices. In the past few weeks there have been over 100 Congressmen from the Democratic and Republican parties called the Department of Justice to investigate the site and sources say an FBI investigation is ongoing On the way.

With OnlyFans’ decision to continue distributing and monetizing pornographic content, we now have to see if and how it cleans up its act in order to comply with the new security regulations of banks and card companies, and whether it survives this debacle unscathed. We also have to see whether they will end up being held civilly and criminally responsible the victims who have already suffered damage. The future of OnlyFans is still open.

Laila Mickelwait is the CEO and founder of the Justice Defense Fund, a nonprofit that combats criminal sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.

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