Last Tuesday, the CEO and COO of MindGeek, the parent company of Pornhub, resigned. The shocking move happened in the wake of a damning investigation by the New Yorker detailing horrific stories of child sexual abuse and nonconsensual videos, which the company monetized with ads and globally distributed to up to 130 million visitors per day.

The same day the companies’ top executives jumped ship, 200 or more MindGeek employees were fired, according to multiple sources. The layoffs were done without even a day’s notice, via Zoom, in batches. One employee said “the people being laid off were forcefully muted so they couldn’t speak or ask questions. The layoff was immediate, and all accounts were disabled within minutes.”

Angry employees close to the top executives began reaching out to me almost immediately, letting me in on some of MindGeek’s best-kept secrets.

But two entities that have been profiting from the content on Pornhub are still escaping needed scrutiny. Namely, Visa and Mastercard.

Whistleblower moderators said they were encouraged to let as much content through as possible. More content equals more site traffic, which results in more ad revenue. One senior manager admitted that Pornhub avoids age verification because it doesn’t want to lose traffic and revenue. “MindGeek loses money. Any age verification devastates traffic,” she complained. “Pornhub stands to lose 50%+ of traffic…. It costs us money to verify and overall it’s a disaster.”

In 2020, the New York Times caused international shockwaves when its exposé, “The Children of Pornhub,” told the harrowing stories of victims sexually abused on Pornhub as children. Within days, Visa and Mastercard announced they were cutting ties with the site, earning positive global media attention for their actions. The CEO of Mastercard went so far as to publicly announce that its own investigation found child sexual abuse material on the site, compelling it to ditch Pornhub.

But the announcements and pronouncements only went halfway. The credit card companies cut off the public-facing transactions, such as Pornhub Premium memberships, but recently a senior MindGeek employee told me (and it was confirmed) that both Visa and Mastercard continue to facilitate profits from Pornhub content—they are just using the “back door” of TrafficJunky where it isn’t as obvious to the public.

It is unacceptable that Visa and Mastercard still enable their cards to generate revenue from Pornhub. Last year, 34 women who were raped, abused, and trafficked on Pornhub—including 14 who were children at the time—sued Visa and Pornhub for allegedly “knowingly profiting” from their exploitation.

We need to hold Visa and Mastercard to their word. They said they were going to stop doing business with Pornhub, so they must stop doing business with Pornhub’s main source of revenue. Lip service won’t stop the global distribution of sex crime footage for money. It’s time for Visa and Mastercard to act on their public promises.”