MasterCard and Visa will no longer allow themselves to be used as payment options for advertisements in the adult section of classified ad website Backpage.com.
The move comes after a sheriff in Cook County, Illinois named Thomas Dart requested that both credit companies sever ties with the site because it promotes prostitution and online sex trafficking.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Dart sent a letter to each credit card company earlier this week that asked them to “immediately cease and desist from allowing your credit cards to be used to place ads on websites like Backpage.com, which we have objectively found to promote prostitution and facilitate online sex trafficking.”
In a statement, Visa told the Journal: “Visa’s rules prohibit our network from being used for illegal activity.”
Backpage.com has long been criticized by law-enforcement officials and others who say the site fuels the illegal sex industry.