PayPal decides to screw adult performers, continuing the recent conservative trend amongst tech companies

unsplash-logoKon Karampelas

In an increasingly conservative environment, PayPal has decided to screw adult performers by dropping Pornhub as a business partner.

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Pornhub has announced that PayPal will not be working with the platform anymore, screwing, according to the website, over a hundred thousand performers that used PayPal to get paid. In an explanation provided by the payment service, the company explains that this decision comes after finding out that Pornhub had been using PayPal to pay creators that decided to monetize their content, which, always according to the company, is against their terms of service.

With this move, thousands of adult performs relying on their earnings to make a living find themselves with an uncertain future, as they scramble to change their payment method on their profiles. While for Europeans and North Americans this might be simple, thanks to the availability of direct deposit (in Europe being SEPA), others are not as lucky, such as South-Americans, who appear to be the biggest losers in this story, not having any of the “modern” commodities we the Western world enjoy. After all, they might not have access to direct debit or the possibility of buying and converting cryptocurrencies, on top of the ongoing social unrest in their countries, the devaluation of their currencies, political instability and a shortage of basic common goods.

However, not all seems to be negative in this story, with the cryptocurrency “Verge”, used by Pornhub both to pay adult performers as well as buy services on the platform, appearing to gain some popularity.

Coming back to PayPal’s move, this is not the first time that the company decides to cut ties with a specific group of people, already having refused to service specific controversial figures in the past, which, while they might be controversial, they continue being customers like everybody else. PayPal’s move also comes amidst a growing conservative stance amongst big American tech companies, with Tumblr essentially banning most of the porn on the platform back in December 2018, and Patreon, a popular service for the general public to fund artists and creators, also closing hundreds of adult performer accounts and driving them off their platform. It is also worth mentioning how legislators in some specific places, such as the UK, have been attempting to block porn and requiring proper identification to access it for a very long time, repeatedly failing at it.

Ironically, PayPal doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break, after having hundreds of sellers abandoning their platform following a recent change in their refund policy, change with which sellers do not get back PayPal’s fee when a buyer refunds a transaction. In other words, if a seller refunds an order, this one will have to eat the cost, which is usually 2.9% of the transaction amount, which can add up very quickly.

From a more general perspective, the current trend against porn is set to continue, and likely worsen, unless users and adult performers alike manage to find a way to carve out a place of the web for themselves and call it “home”. This shouldn’t be too difficult, if only users were able to coordinate between each other and have some big companies get onboard this project, companies such as Pornhub and its network (RedTube, Modelhub, etc), ManyVids, Chaturbate, the multiple porn studios existing across the world and other actors in the industry, such as sex toys manufacturers. After all, if enough people get together and pool their resources to build some kind of “safe heaven” for their hobby and activity, owned by companies dedicated and backing this, these kinds of surprises should be avoidable in the long term.

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