How Mastercard’s new rules will affect the porn industry and sex workers

0

In a new policy on preventing child sexual abuse and uploading non-consensual content, Mastercard instructed cooperating banks to ensure that adult content creators and platforms that stream it follow a strict documentation and moderation process

Representative photo: iStock

Mastercard’s new regulations for platforms offering adult content, which went into effect October 15, have sparked a dispute between sex workers, adult content creators, and platforms that host them accusing them of being theirs Violate the right to speak and try to rob them of their livelihood.

While Mastercard argues that the new policy would help prevent child sexual abuse and the uploading of other non-consensual content, adult content creators and activists say the rules are not only inconvenient for sex workers but also impractical .

What new regulations are there?

The payment and technology company announced in a blog post in April this year that it would have to adhere to a strict documentation and moderation process under its new regulations for “specialist dealers” for adult content creators and streaming platforms.

advertising

In the blog post, John Verdeschi, Senior Vice President of Customer Engagement and Performance at Mastercard, said that given the industry’s “high risk” for adult content, it was imperative to have “strong content control measures and clear, unambiguous, and documented consent” to be observed. in place.

“You might ask, ‘Why now?’ In recent years, uploading content to the Internet has become easier than ever. All someone needs is a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection, ”he argued, defending his company’s new policy.

Under the new regulations, banks connecting merchants to the Mastercard network must confirm that the seller of adult content has effective controls in place to monitor, block and, if necessary, remove illegal content.

Banks also need to ensure that adult websites document age and verify the identity of people in uploaded photos and videos, as well as that of the content uploader.

In simple terms, content creators, including sex workers, uploaders and the upload platform, could only use Mastercard’s services if they had proper documentation of their consent to participate in the film, cam show or picture, to spread them and to have them available for download.

Also read: What Mastercard’s RBI ban means for the future

Mastercard also wants banks to work with him to ensure that platform moderators review the content before posting and have a “complaint resolution process that addresses illegal or inconsistent content within seven business days”.

Banks should also ensure that platforms remove adult photos and videos if someone depicted on them objects.

Reason for the regulation

The rules follow on from Mastercard, Visa and Discover banning the use of their cards from accessing Pornhub last year after claims that sex trafficking-related content (including child abuse and rape) was streamed on the platform.

In response to the ban, Pornhub issued a statement calling it “exceptionally disgusting,” especially when the site recently announced steps to “protect images from abuse, inconsistent activity, and underage models on the site, including a ban on uploading.” unchecked users “. Material”.

Ironically, despite its caution of “illegal activity” related to sexual content on its network, Mastercard is a branded card for Cabelas, a brand that sells assault weapons.

Sex workers scream badly

Sex workers and activists have denounced Mastercard’s new regulations and demanded a rollback from the company.

Activists say the new policy is an “attack on freedom of expression” and will make it immensely difficult for sex workers to make a living from online platforms.

In a comment in the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Trans Justice Campaign Manager Lala B. Holston-Zannell wrote that the policy “makes sex workers difficult to do business online and makes sex workers more vulnerable, especially those who trans women from are color “.

She says the new requirement is, in practical terms, quite late, if not impossible, to follow. Using the example of the social networking platform OnlyFans, she said the website has a million content creators. So if each of them uploaded a video a day, Mastercard’s new policy would require the website to review each video before it is published.

“A pre-release review on this scale is nearly impossible and, given the speed at which online platforms operate, it would likely be full of errors. This policy will make it much more difficult for platforms to host adult content, destabilizing the websites that sex workers make a living on, ”she writes.

To object to the policy, around 1,500 sex workers, sex educators and other stakeholders signed a letter to Mastercard in September calling for the rules to be lifted.

“Payment processors shouldn’t dictate platform content moderation guidelines. Mastercard’s proposal will lead to more violence and discrimination against vulnerable people, not less, ”said Evan Greer, director of Fight for the Future, in a statement.

“If they continue with this suggestion and refuse to even pause to listen to more stakeholders, they are actually saying that acceptance is not important to them. They throw LGBTQ + communities, human rights and marginalized people under the bus. Period, “Greer said in the statement.

Not just queer sex workers, Greer said the new policy would affect all queer content creators, including cartoonists, game developers, sex educators, and academics.

“Society as a whole suffers from limitations on consensual sex and language, increased surveillance, and the misdirection of resources that should help the most vulnerable,” Greer said.

Holston-Zannell stated that everyone deserves access to financial services, saying that financial discrimination and laws that stigmatize or criminalize sex work not only undermine the safety and well-being of black trans women, but also harm the dangers of mass incarceration as well Exposure to racist policing restrict their freedom of speech and invade their privacy.

“If Mastercard is a real supporter of LGBTQ rights, as it claims on its Pride page, it should immediately reverse this discriminatory policy,” she said.

Calling politics a “war” against sex workers, the Sex Workers Outreach Project Behind Bars said the regulations would make many sex workers unemployed and further maginize them.

“We say ‘war on sex workers’ because the damage they do doesn’t affect work as much as it does the workers who depend on the Pornhub platform for a living,” the platform explained.

“Violence against sex workers includes the social and institutional violence that has led to the closure of our online platforms, which give us a certain level of security and give us the critical resource to access banking transactions,” it says on the platform.

Sex workers say these guidelines do more harm than good.

“If I force you to fill out a consent agreement or upload an ID that protects producers, platforms and banks from liability, I would have a harder time winning a lawsuit against an abusive producer. Sex workers themselves are rarely involved in legal or civil liability for human trafficking, child sexual abuse, or other problematic content. I see this surveillance and this policy only as further exploitation that does not help; they make me less safe, ”said one sex worker Vice.

Ironically, some of the adult platforms have strict guidelines for moderation and content documentation, but non-adult social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram often stream adult and offensive content that is never used for it. According to an annual report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Facebook reported 20 billion cases of child sexual abuse in 2020, while the same was reported on the Snapchat platform 144,000. Twitter reported more than 65,000 cases of child sexual abuse, while Microsoft reported 96,776 cases.

Also read: Card Rejected: Behind India’s Decision to Ban Mastercard

However, this is not the first time sex workers have faced financial discrimination. Payment processors like PayPal have refused to do business with sex workers because their work is “high risk”.

Many adult websites have already drafted new rules in line with Mastercard regulations and made users aware of them. For example, the porn site iWantClips recently alerted its creators to the change in its content review policy, warning them that non-compliance could result in blacklisted erroneous creators.

However, some sites rolled them back after complying with Mastercard’s rules after a great outcry from users. Onlyfans announced in August that it would ban explicit content from its platform from October. However, the platform had to reverse its decision after users protested. However, Onlyfans founder Tim Stokely said the website already complied with Mastercard’s rules and they had nothing to do with the ban.


Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.