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SWOP Behind Bars Statement Regarding Pornhub being Banned from Accepting Visa and Mastercard

On December 10, Mastercard and Visa announced that they will no longer allow Pornhub to accept payment for Mastercard and Visa on their platform after intense pressure from religious groups who are waging a war against sex workers. We say “war against sex workers” because the damage they do does not impact the labor as much as it affects the laborers who depend on the Pornhub platform to earn a living.  Because of this decision, based on fiction and conflated reports regarding the presence of minors being assaulted on its platform, many sex workers will be forced even further into the margins.  

In Winter.  

During a pandemic.

On International Human Rights Day.

And only a week before sex workers around the world memorialize those we have lost to violence on International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, December 17th.

Violence Against Sex Workers includes the societal and institutional violence that has led to the shuttering of our online platforms that give us a measure of safety and allow us the critical resource that is the ability to access banking. The action from MasterCard and VISA will cause harm to our already suffering community members and will have zero impact on the Pornhub platform, who will simply switch to cryptocurrency – a complicated and inaccessible method of payment for many sex workers. 

Sex workers from around the world condemn this action and point to the 85 Million reports of the very same conduct from mainstream platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These platforms have no accountability for their part in the horrific abuse of children, women, men, trans and non-binary people, and we find Mastercard and VISA to be posturing for its over zealous base and the bad intentions and actions of the anti-trafficking community who consistently targets sex workers in order to profit from our vulnerable state of being.

This action will have no impact on Rapists and Abusers and it will not stop sex work. We stand with the Adult Performers Artist Guild in their Statement titled United We Stand, Divided We Beg and we encourage sex workers and allies to sign the petition demanding Mastercard and VISA rescind this censure of Pornhub.

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