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What I find instead were porn site owners saying their chargeback percentages were low enough to not warrant calling them high risk, and arguments about what constituted pornography (considered a “risky” investment) versus adult content (not necessarily deemed “risky”).
Yet we live in a culture that stigmatizes us permanently for dipping a toe into sex work while simultaneously insisting sex workers should leave the industry and do other work.
I looked into this somewhat and found many such companies claiming that statistically, adult companies were more likely to be high risk for chargebacks (when someone buys the content, often downloading what they want and then calling the company to report fraud).
However, I couldn’t actually find these supposed statistics.
Both are things they now refuse to have anything to do with, even though porn sites and online casinos helped rocket Paypal to the popularity it enjoys today.
In 2003, citing high fraud rates, Paypal stopped accepting adult transactions or gambling ones, offering instead to monitor user transactions and report potentially illegal activities. When jobs are difficult to come by, people are starting small businesses out of their home, selling stuff on e Bay, making mobile apps, crafting things to sell on Etsy.
I was packing my bags, looking forward to a week trip to the Feminist Porn Awards and the Feminist Porn Conference, having finally earned enough through my Patreon patron-funded writing to travel and have a bit of a cushion when I got back.
Payments would be processed at the beginning of the month, and I welcomed the assurance of my first paycheck that would pay my rent. That’s when I got an email from Patreon, saying that the payment processor Pay Pal had threatened to shut down all integration with their site because it contained “adult content.” The email stated: “[A]s you can imagine, this would be detrimental to creators — hundreds of thousands of dollars were to be ‘frozen’ unless we flagged all adult content pages, made them private, and removed Paypal functionality from their individual pages…Interestingly, as faith in Pay Pal and We Pay falls, companies like Verotel are moving forward, accepting Bitcoin as a possible alternative form of online payment.Perhaps Bitcoin and other similar payment systems outside of the Visa/Mastercard monopoly is the way of the future for those on the margins when companies like Pay Pal or We Pay can steal unfettered from marginalized populations.I was finding it refreshing to be making a living (albeit barely) through getting paid to write on my experiences in the sex industry, giving me some hope that I could transition out and still survive financially. I’m so sorry that we had to do this without warning you first, but it was SUCH an emergency!We simply had to take action to avoid a situation where creators would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars of legitimate pledges.” Patreon emailed all of our patrons to warn them and suggested we also email them to ensure payments went through as usual at the beginning of April.While her offered perks followed Fundly’s terms, We Pay, the payment processor they used, shut down her account because they were “adult,” causing the Sex Workers Outreach Project to write to Fundly encouraging them to stop using We Pay and be, as their tagline says, “crowdfunding for all.” Maggie Mayhem, a porn performer, tried to raise money for going to Haiti to do relief work using Pay Pal, and, despite the fact her fundraising had to do with porn, she found her account shut down.