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Pornhub: Judge rules visa abuse claims can be prosecuted

Written by waploaded

visa logo on computer screen

An abuse victim can sue Visa over a video posted on her Pornhub, a US court has ruled.

Serena Fleets was 13 in 2014 when a boyfriend allegedly pressured her to make a pornographic video, which she posted on Pornhub.

Ms Fleets alleges that Visa conspired to make money from videos of her abuse with MindGeek, the parent firm of Pornhub, by processing revenue from ads.

Was asked to remove from the visa case.

Miss Fleet’s story appears in a New York Times article The Children of Pornhub – an article that prompted MindGeek to remove millions of videos and make significant changes to its policies and practice.

Her charges are summarized in a pre-trial decision by the Central District Court of California.

millions of views

Fleets says the initial porn video posted on Pornhub without her knowledge or consent had been viewed 400,000 times by the time she discovered it.

She alleged that after becoming aware of the video, she contacted MindGeek pretending to be her mother “to inform that the video qualifies as child pornography”. removed it a few weeks later

But the video was downloaded and re-uploaded multiple times by users, with one of the re-uploads garnering 2.7 million views, they argue.

MindGeek earned advertising revenue from these re-uploads, it is alleged.

Ms Fleets says her life had “spiked out of control” – there were multiple failed suicide attempts and family relationships deteriorated – then while at a friend’s house, an older man introduced her to heroin.

To fuel her addiction, when she was still a child, she made more explicit videos at the behest of this man, some of which were uploaded to Pornhub.

“While MindGeek benefited from child porn featuring Plaintiff, Plaintiff was intermittently homeless or living in her car, heroin addicted, depressed, and suicidal, and without the support of her family,” Judge Cormack J. . Carney summed up his allegations.

MindGeek told the BBC that at this point, the court has not yet ruled on the veracity of the allegations, and that all of the plaintiffs’ allegations need to be considered true and accurate.

“When the court can actually consider the facts, we are confident that the plaintiffs’ claims will be dismissed for lack of merit,” the company said.

‘Tools to commit crime’

The judge ruled that, at the current stage of the proceedings, “the Court can infer the strong likelihood that Visa’s network was involved in at least some advertising transaction directly related to Plaintiff’s video”.

But Visa argued that “the allegation that Visa recognized MindGeek as an authorized merchant and processed payments on its websites did not suggest that Visa had agreed to participate in sex trafficking of any kind”.

It also argued, according to the judge’s own position, that a commercial relationship alone does not establish a conspiracy.

But Judge Carney said that, again at this stage of the proceedings, “the Court can comfortably deduce that Visa’s intent is to help MindGeek monetize child porn, given the fact that Visa has allowed MindGeek to do so.” and knew that MindGeek was doing exactly this.

“Put another way, Visa is not accused of merely creating an incentive to commit a crime, it is an allegation that it knowingly provided a device used to commit a crime”.

A Visa spokesperson told the BBC it condemns sex trafficking, sexual abuse and child sex abuse material.

“This pre-trial decision is disappointing and incorrectly portrays the role of Visa and its policies and practices. Visa will not tolerate the use of our network for illegal activity. We believe that Visa is an unfair defendant in this case. Is.”

zero stamina

MindGeek’s chief executive officer and chief operating officer resigned last month.

The senior departure followed further negative press in an article in The New Yorker magazine, among other things, examining the company’s moderation policies.

MindGeek told the BBC that it had:

  • Zero tolerance for posting illegal content on your platforms

  • Banned the upload of anyone who has not submitted a government-issued ID that passes third-party verification

  • Eliminated the ability to download free content

  • Integrated multiple technical platforms and content moderation tools

  • Established digital fingerprinting of all videos that violate our non-consensual content and CSAM policies to help prevent deleted videos from being reposted

  • Expanded its moderation workforce and processes

The company also said that any assertion that it does not take the elimination of illegal content seriously is “clearly false.”

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