PayPal suddenly wakes up and stops payment support to PornHub sex workers

PayPal said on Thursday that it had stopped payment support to PornHub's models who sell their content on the adult entertainment website

PornHub model
PornHub / Instagram

Online payment service, PayPal, announced on Thursday that it would no longer offer payment support to PornHub models after discovering that the pornography website made certain payments without their permission.

"Following a review, we have discovered that PornHub has made certain business payments through PayPal without seeking our permission. We have taken action to stop these transactions from occurring," PayPal said in a statement to Reuters.

PayPal told Gizmodo that they found that PornHub was making business payments to its model performers, thus violating a clause in its terms of service agreement, which states that account holders are forbidden from buying or selling "sexually oriented digital goods, including downloadable pictures or videos, subscriptions to websites, or other content delivered through a digital medium."

While many believe PornHub is just an adult entertainment website that gives viewers access to an endless supply of free porn, there's more to it. The website also allows performers a platform to upload, sell and make money off their own videos and then get paid via PayPal.

"We are all devastated by PayPal's decision to stop payouts to over a hundred thousand performers who rely on them for their livelihoods," PornHub said on its blog, before asking its model performers to set up a new payment method from the options available. These include check, direct deposit, the Paxum e-wallet, and the Verge cryptocurrency.

According to PornHub, PayPal is specifically targeting its sex-positive model program which was launched in order to help content creators sell their content and earn a portion of the ad revenue. The company added that PayPal's decision to abandon payments would "do nothing but harm efforts to end discrimination and stigma toward sex workers" and that they're trying to add more sex-worker friendly ways to get paid, including other crypto options.

PayPal isn't the only payment service whose usage policy forbids payments for services that are sexual in nature. There are several banks like JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citibank as well as financial services corporations like Visa and Mastercard have been hostile toward sex workers.