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FinanceBill Ackman blasts Visa, saying it has the power to pressure Pornhub...

Bill Ackman blasts Visa, saying it has the power to pressure Pornhub to remove child pornography

Bill Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Billionaire hedge fund supervisor Bill Ackman is taking a vocal stance towards Visa, saying the bank card big has the power to pressure Pornhub to remove child pornography from its website.

“My interest comes from the fact that I have four daughters,” Ackman mentioned on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Tuesday. “When you think about the worst harm — economic, physical, mental harm you can impact upon a human being — it’s having a child trafficked … video of the rape appear. I find it hard to talk about it.”

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in California dominated that Visa knowingly facilitated the distribution of child pornography on Pornhub and different websites operated by father or mother firm MindGeek by processing funds.

Carney denied elements of Visa’s movement to be dismissed from claims introduced by a lady who’s suing Visa and MindGeek over a sexually specific video her boyfriend filmed of her when she was 13.

“It is simple,” Carney mentioned in his ruling. “Visa made the decision to continue to recognize MindGeek as a merchant, despite its alleged knowledge that MindGeek monetized child porn. MindGeek made the decision to continue monetizing child porn, and there are enough facts pled to suggest that the latter decision depended on the former.”

The Pershing Square CEO had known as on Visa and Mastercard in late 2020 to quickly withhold funds to Pornhub after a New York Times column by Nicholas Kristof brought the issue to light.

“Remarkably, the company, despite being entirely aware that there’s child pornography on these sites, they continue to provide payment services, until the Kristoff article, and then they shut down the sites overnight which would have bankrupted them,” Ackman mentioned. “Within a matter of weeks they re-authorized the merchants and started accepting payments again and the crime continues.”

Ackman mentioned he has no financial stake in Visa, Mastercard or any funds firm. He mentioned he supplied to assist finance lawsuits philanthropically towards Visa.

The hedge fund supervisor mentioned he believes that that is one in all the most egregious company governance failures he has witnessed and the firm and its board may very well be confronted with large liabilities.

“It’s an extreme measure when Visa or Mastercard shuts down a merchant, but a merchant’s business is fundamentally illegal,” Ackman mentioned. “There’s traditional breach of fiduciary duty when a company has a product or service that can cause harm.”

A Visa spokesperson informed CNBC that the funds big condemns intercourse trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse supplies.

“This pre-trial ruling is disappointing and mischaracterizes Visa’s role and its policies and practices. Visa will not tolerate the use of our network for illegal activity,” the spokesperson mentioned. “We continue to believe that Visa is an improper defendant in this case.” 


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