Adult Industry Takedown Requests – What To Know

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Last Updated on June 16, 2023 by Corepay

If you’re a part of the adult industry, you’re probably aware of the new regulations being implemented by credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard. 

These changes are designed to prevent illegal activity and protect individuals, and they require merchants to establish consent, age, and identity verification processes, among other things.

However, these regulations impact the industry’s business model significantly, and one area that is highly affected is takedown requests.

Takedown requests are common in the adult industry and are used to remove content that violates copyright, privacy, or other laws. With the new regulations, takedown requests will become more critical than ever, as merchants will be required to support a complaint process for violating content.

If someone believes your content violates the new regulations, they can file a complaint, and you’ll need to take swift action to remove the content in question. 

*It’s important to note that Mastercard and Visa have complaint forms to which someone can submit any website.

We recommend also checking out our complete guide to Mastercard adult revisions here.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how the new regulations impact takedown requests in the adult industry and explore what you need to know to stay compliant.

Key Takeaways

Mastercard and other credit card brands have implemented new requirements for banks processing payments for adult content sellers to ensure consent, age, and identity verification, as well as support for complaint processes and illegal content takedown requests.

  • The new rules may hurt independent performers and those using newsfeed-style sites and social media to promote, but the adult industry is resilient and adaptable to new rules
  • Takedown request investigations aren’t violations
  • Takedown investigations are led by Mastercard and Visa
  • A reputable payment processor can help your business stay compliant with recent changes
  • It has never been more important to ensure brand compliancy

What Is A Takedown Request?

So you’re familiar with the new regulations affecting the adult industry, but do you know what a takedown request is and how it relates to these changes?

Simply put, a takedown request is a formal request by an individual or entity to remove specific content from a website or platform

In the context of the adult industry, this refers to requests made by individuals who have had their content uploaded without their consent or who have found their content to violate the new regulations.

The new regulations require adult industry merchants to establish a complaint process for reporting and removing illegal content. 

Takedown requests are a crucial part of this process, allowing individuals to appeal for the removal of their content if they believe it has been uploaded without their consent or violates the regulations.

This is just one of the many steps being taken to protect individuals and promote a safer and more regulated industry. So, what’s Visa’s global brand protection, and how does it relate to these changes?

What To Know During An Investigation

If your business is being investigated, knowing what steps to take to ensure compliance and avoid penalties is essential. Here are some things to keep in mind during an investigation:

  • Cooperate fully: Cooperating fully with Mastercard’s investigation team is essential. Failure to do so can lead to penalties or even merchant account termination. Be transparent and provide complete and accurate information.
  • Review your policies: Closely examine them and ensure they align with Mastercard’s guidelines. Identify any areas that need improvement and make necessary changes.
  • Communicate with your Acquirer: Your Acquirer can help you navigate the investigation process and advise you on staying compliant. Keep them informed of any developments and work together to address any issues.

Knowing what steps to take during an investigation can help avoid penalties and maintain compliance. So, what information will you need to present? Let’s explore that in the next section.

What Information Will You Need To Present?

Prepare to present complete and accurate information about your policies and procedures during a Mastercard investigation to ensure compliance and avoid penalties. The information you’ll need to submit includes:

  • Your consent
  • Age
  • Identity verification processes
  • Complaint process for violating content and takedown requests
  • Marketing and search terms policies

This ensures they don’t contain non-consensual activities or child exploitation materials.

You must also have policies to prohibit promoting or facilitating human trafficking, sex trafficking, or physical abuse. Moreover, you must provide monthly reports of flagged content and complaints to your acquirer.

Review all uploaded content before publication, fully control your platform used for live streaming, and permit only verified content uploads. 

Independent workers in the adult industry worry that these regulations could slow down their process of putting out content and earning extra income. But adapting to these new rules is critical for adult businesses to combat any slowdown in content creation.

Does an investigation mean a violation? Let’s find out in the next section.

Does An Investigation Mean A Violation?

It’s important to note that an investigation doesn’t necessarily mean a violation has occurred. The investigation is simply a process to determine whether a violation has occurred.

During the investigation, the merchant will be given the opportunity to present evidence and defend themselves against the allegations. If the investigation finds a violation, appropriate action will be taken. This could include removing the content, terminating the merchant’s account, or even legal action.

It’s important to remember that the adult industry regulations by Mastercard and Visa are meant to protect individuals and prevent illegal activities. Staying compliant with these regulations is crucial for all parties’ safety.

The Importance Of Staying Compliant With Visa And Mastercards Adult Regulations

Staying compliant with Visa and Mastercard’s regulations for content processing and user-generated content is crucial for ensuring the safety of all parties involved in the adult entertainment business, and it can also help your business thrive in the long run.

How Corepay Can Help

At Corepay, we specialize in high-risk payments and stay updated with every card brand regulation and update. At the time of your application, we underwrite your account to ensure compliance and inform you of any changes that need to be made to maintain compliance with card networks.

In the long run, this avoids any issues with Mastercard and Visa and ensures a healthy merchant account.

What Is Visa’s Global Brand Protection?

You may be wondering about Visa’s Global Brand Protection and how it affects merchants who process payments for certain types of content.

Visa’s Global Brand Protection program is designed to monitor and remove illegal content from the internet. The program uses advanced technology and a team of analysts to detect and remove content that violates Visa’s policies and guidelines. 

This includes content related to illegal activities such as human trafficking, child exploitation, and non-consensual activities.

Visa’s program also requires merchants to comply with various regulations and standards, including age and identity verification, consent, and complaint processes for violating content and takedown requests. Merchants must also submit monthly reports on their activity to their acquirer.

With Visa’s program in place, adult content sellers must adhere to strict regulations to ensure they do not violate Visa’s policies and guidelines. 

What Is Mastercard’s Business Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program?

Let’s look closer at Mastercard’s Business Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program and how it affects merchants processing payments for certain types of content.

The program is designed to help identify and mitigate risks associated with processing payments for high-risk merchants, including those in the adult industry. It requires merchants to implement various measures, such as age and identity verification, content review, and complaint processes, to ensure compliance with Mastercard’s standards and prevent illegal activities.

Merchants must also submit monthly reports of flagged content and complaints to their acquirer. Failure to comply with the program’s requirements can result in account termination or other penalties.

It’s important to note that the program is not meant to punish businesses operating legally but rather to target bad actors in the industry.

So, what should merchants know during an investigation?

Wrapping Up

While takedown requests can be frustrating for merchants not breaking the rules, they are here to stay, so it’s best to be prepared and compliant to avoid any consequences.

If you have any questions on what you need to do to remain compliant, contact us through our contact form, and we can assist.

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