Hedge Fund Manager Ackman Blasts Visa Over Pornhub Child Porn

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Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has taken a stance against Visa (NYSE:V), stating they should be made to pay a “very, very large” amount in a case that claims the payments company profited from child pornography.

Billionaire Ackman, speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box, stated Visa has the authority to pressure Pornhub to remove child pornography from its site.

“My interest comes from the fact that I have four daughters,” Ackman said. “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.”

There is currently a lawsuit by a woman accusing Visa of knowingly enabling the distribution of child pornography on Pornhub and other sites owned and run by parent company MindGeek.

Visa’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit was rejected by California federal judge Cormac Carney on Friday. Carney said in his ruling that “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.”

In late 2020, Ackman, the founder and CEO of Pershing Square, called on Visa and Mastercard (NYSE:MA) to withhold payments to Pornhub temporarily following a report regarding the issue.

“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 continued. “Within a matter of weeks they re-authorized the merchants and started accepting payments again and the crime continues.”

The hedge fund CEO added that he has no stake in Visa, Mastercard, or any payments company and has offered to pay for lawsuits against Visa.

He also said it is one of the most blatant corporate governance failures he has seen.

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