No More MasterCard
【Sept 4th, 2022 Update Added】
On July 20, DMM abruptly announced that they are ending their contract with MasterCard in Japan. Users can now only pay via VISA, JCB, AMEX, or Diners Club cards from July 29, 2022, onwards.
However, this isn’t surprising for foreign customers of FANZA. Back in May, FANZA banned the usage of Mastercard and VISA credit cards issued outside of Japan on the website. Currently, only JCB, AMEX, or Diners Club cards issued outside of Japan can be used on DMM.
While MasterCard usage is 17.8% among Japanese people (3rd place after VISA and JCB), a lot of young Japanese men got their Amazon Classic MasterCard when Amazon first entered the Japanese market. Having to buy their porn on a different card is annoying.
Credit Card Bans in the US
But even before this DMM case, similar incidents have been happening in the US. Both VISA and Mastercard cut ties with Pornhub back in 2020. The two credit card companies cited allegations of “illegal activities” and presence of “unlawful content”. But they never really went into detail what exactly those were.
OnlyFan users also faced issues, when OF tried to deplatform sex workers from its website and put their livelihood at risk on October 1, 2020, just so OF could keep accepting Mastercard payments. They really believed that OF would be able to get rid of lewd content and still survive.
The important fact to know here is that this Mastercard ban didn’t happen because the Japanese government was trying to fight against pornography. This is a US credit card company issue.
Why is MasterCard targeting adult content?
Mastercard implemented new and harsh rules against pornographic content because conservative groups like National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formerly known as Morality in Media) and Exodus Cry, a suspicious evangelical group, lobbied hard for these changes in the US.
These targeted lobbying in the US are now affecting people’s freedom to purchase sexual content in Japan.
It is a strange instance where “freedom of expression”, a phrase often touted by conservatives, is being obliterated by the very same conservatives and religious groups. It may be that “freedom of expression” may not be so “free” after all.
Japanese people are starting to take notice of American censorship
The saving grace here is that Japanese people are starting to realise that it’s “foreign intervention” by American credit card companies like MasterCard, that is the biggest threat to the Japanese adult industry.
— 荻野幸太郎 / OGINO, Kotaro (@ogi_fuji_npo) July 20, 2022
Sept 4th, 2022 Update:
Reports are coming in that DMM is now blocking access to certain "risky" content if you visit from a foreign IP address.
I tried viewing movies from a certain big name drama studio that normally have shown before and receive a generic "not available in your region" message. https://t.co/JHoXXObPxt
— ZADofZ (@ZADofZ) August 31, 2022
- Hentai is also getting harder to buy in the US, with Rightstuf removing their hentai content after being absorbed by Crunchyroll (SONY).
- Japan has a new anti-porn Justice Minister. Who is he and what will he do?
Source: DMM, Vice, Newsweek, SMBC Card
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