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Tags Current Affairs

Mastercard’s new regulations for adult content

Date: 23 October 2021 Tags: IT, Mobile & Computers


Mastercard has updated its guidelines for banks that handle payments for firms that sell adult contents.



The feud between financial service companies such as Mastercard and platforms offering adult content is not new.



  • The new “specialty merchant” regulations were announced by the company on April 15. The regulations would have come into effect on October 15.

  • Under the updated rules, various platforms and creators have to adhere to stricter documentation and moderation requirements. 

  • The banks will need clear and non-ambiguous consent from seller while selling adult contents. In addition, the age and consent of individuals in videos should be verified.


New guidelines

  • Individual has to give their consent to be in the material, to have it distributed, and to have it available for download.

  • Platforms that host live content must be able to watch streams and stop or block those using automated tools.

  • All content must be reviewed by platform moderators before it’s published to the site.

  • Sites must have a review process before any content is published.

  • An appeal process has to be devised for anyone depicted in adult videos or photos to request that the content be removed.


Reasons for the move

  • An article in New York Times had stated that individuals on several adult sites were victims of sex trafficking and there was no consent taken for displaying.

  • Companies such as Mastercard, Visa and Discover had decided not to allow adult sites to use their financial services to make payment.



Sex workers and activists are taking efforts to convince Mastercard to reconsider its stand. The new rules would further marginalize vulnerable sections.


Way ahead

  • There is nothing called non-exploitative industry. Big corporations such as Apple buy raw materials from mines employing bonded labourers.

  • Jewellery industry buys diamonds from conflict areas. Accessory companies such as Nike, Sony, and Huawei etc manufacture items in China in re-education camps.

  • Social media companies such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter report more abusive content than adult sites. They also should be equally regulated.

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