World payment giant, Mastercard Incorporated has announced that it has begun rewriting the rules it earlier set for banks that process payments for adult content sellers. The payment network in a blog post announcement on Wednesday revealed that the depositary banks will now make sure that sellers of adult content will now require “clear, unambiguous and documented consent” in adult content business.
The move by Mastercard comes after it said it would no longer allow its cards to be used on Pornhub.com after a review of the website exposed some unlawful content. Now, both Mastercard and its rival company, Visa Incorporated had begun investigations into Pornhub after a New York Times column accused the website of sharing out videos depicting child abuse and non-consensual violence. It further stated that the firms will also be required to ensure the adult websites document the age and verify the identity of anyone depicted in pictures and videos as well as those uploading the content.
Commenting on the announcement by the payment giant, John Verdeschi, Mastercard’s senior vice president of customer engagement and performance, said, “The banks that connect merchants to our network will need to certify that the seller of adult content has effective controls in place to monitor, block and, where necessary, take down all illegal content.”
“In the past few years, the ability to upload content to the internet has become easier than ever. All someone needs is a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection. Now, our requirements address the risks associated with this activity,” the company vice president said.
However, Mastercard has long prohibited traders on its platform from engaging in unlawful activity on its network. The firm has previously forged partnerships with groups including Interpol and the national and international centres for missing and exploited children.
According to Verdeschi, “We’re committed to doing everything in our power to ensure only the lawful activity takes place on our network. In the process, we also hope to improve content controls to benefit people with the greatest need for these protections.”
Meanwhile, Mastercard is also calling for banks to ensure that these censored sites have a review process before any content is being published, as well as a system for complaints that addresses illegal or non-consensual activity within seven business days. The global payment giant is also mandating that banks ensure that the sites have a petition process that allows for anyone depicted in adult videos or photos to request that the content be removed.