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Disturbing Evidence: Judge Decides Visa 'Intended to Help' Pornhub Monetize Child Porn

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A judge ruled on Friday that payment processor Visa Inc. is complicit in monetizing child porn.

The judge, California U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney, detailed as much as he denied parts of Visa’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the company.

The plaintiff in the case is a woman who alleges that Visa and Pornhub distributed a video featuring her, titled “13-Year Old Brunette Shows Off For the Camera,” without her consent.

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“It is simple: Visa made the decision to continue to recognize MindGeek as a merchant, despite its alleged knowledge that MindGeek monetized child porn, MindGeek made the decision to continue monetizing child porn, and there are enough facts pled to suggest that the latter decision depended on the former,” Carney wrote in the ruling.

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“At this early stage of the proceedings, before Plaintiff has had any discovery from which to derive Visa’s state of mind, the Court can comfortably infer that Visa intended to help MindGeek monetize child porn from the very fact that Visa continued to provide MindGeek the means to do so and knew MindGeek was indeed doing so.”

Serena Fleites, the plaintiff, filed the case alongside “three dozen other anonymous victims of sex trafficking,” according to Bloomberg.

When Fleites first found the video, it had amassed 400,000 views on Pornhub. She proceeded to warn MindGeek, the porn site’s parent company, to no avail.

Eventually, one version of the video racked up an additional 2.7 million views, Bloomberg reported.

Following the company’s failure to remove the content, Fleites’s life “spiraled out of control” as she “became addicted to heroin and attempted suicide several times.”

MindGeek first began facing harsh backlash and intense scrutiny back in Dec. 2020 following the release of a bombshell report titled “The Children of Pornhub.”

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Authored by former New York Times human and women’s rights columnist Nicholas Kristof, the report alleged that Pornhub “monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering” and other forms of illegal content.

Detailed in the story are several interviews Kristof conducted with underage girls who say their rapes were filmed and uploaded to the MindGeek-owned site.

At the time, Visa began distancing itself from the company.

“We are aware of the allegations, and we are actively engaging with the relevant financial institutions to investigate, in addition to engaging directly with the site’s parent company, MindGeek,” Visa said in a statement at the time.

“We are instructing the financial institutions who serve [Pornhub parent company] MindGeek to suspend processing of payments through the Visa network.”

Despite this, the financial services company was still found to be complicit by Judge Carney on Friday.

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Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including numerous original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of supervising staff reporter. His responsibilities now include directing the reporting team.
Birthplace
Ames, Iowa
Nationality
American
Education
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment




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