MasterCard executives have met with representatives from APAG, the Adult Performance Artists Guild, and the Free Speach Coalition (FSC) to discuss the changes set to take effect this October. This was MasterCard’s first meeting with adult industry representatives since the upcoming changes were announced.
APAG and FSC meeting with MasterCard
APAG board members Alana Evans, Ruby and Kelly Price brought their concerns about the implementation of the new rules to MasterCard representatives in an online meeting that included: MasterCard senior vice president of customer engagement John Verdeschi, attorney Mwanga Mtengule, vice president of brand performance Jonathan Trivelas, and deputy chief security officer Michael Lashlee. FSC director of public affairs Mike Stabile also attended the meeting.
During the meeting, Verdeschi emphasized that – not the intention of the new rules to deter legal activity– and that he is happy that the meeting took place because it provides an opportunity to conduct a conversation and to hear and respond to concerns that have arisen since the new rules were announced.
Throughout the meeting, Verdeschi repeatedly stressed that both MasterCard and the adult industry are in alignment on removing illegal adult content from the Internet.
The XBIZ portal had exclusive access to some notes from the meeting.
Legal content is safe
Verdeschi Described the new rules that will apply to adult content starting in October as – a set of standards that apply to our customer, the financial institution (banks).
The vice president explained that these broad rules – ensure that we’re preventing illegal activity from happening – which he included child pornography, child abuse, revange-porn, rape and situations where people have not explicitly consented to publication.
The vice president also said that – There should be some rigor and some process that ensures that illegal content is not uploaded and then disseminated on a global basis.
However, when asked about legal productions created by professionals he said that in their case – movies that have been produced legally, we do not intend to stop that.
A mysterious group of adult film performers
Until the meeting with APAG and the FSC, MasterCard had not been in contact with any organization, group or association associated with the pornography industry. No one has confirmed having discussions with MasterCard either during the preparation of the new rules or after they were announced.
That’s why it was surprising to hear Verdeschi say that he had been in talks for several months with – another set of adult performers.
As the MasterCard representative said, the mysterious group of performers presented – a different perspective: they were victimized. They had produced content where they felt that they did not provide consent, and that content had been distributed and they feel they have no recourse.
Nothing is known about who was part of the group MasterCard was talking to, who contacted the company with this group and how and whether or not the group members are still active in the industry.
Yet it has been reported that MasterCard met with Exodus Cry spokeswoman Laila Mickelwait, who is leading an open fight against all pornography on the Internet.
The full meeting notes accessed by Xbiz can be read here.
New MasterCard policies
In mid-April 2021, MasterCard announced on its blog that it will make changes to the payment processing rules for customers who are in the adult industry. In the Blog, John Verdeschi, MasterCard’s senior vice president of customer engagement and performance wrote:
– The banks that connect merchants to our network will need to certify that the seller of adult content has effective controls in place to monitor, block and, where necessary, take down all illegal content.
Among the requirements MasterCard will place on banks are that bank customers provide:
- Documented verification of the age and identity of all individuals depicted in images and videos or sharing pornographic material.
- A description of the process for reviewing content prior to publication and the process for resolving complaints.
- Establishment of an appeals process to allow any person depicted to have content involving them removed.