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PayPal Reverses Course on $2,500 ‘Misinformation’ Fines After Massive Pushback

PayPal Reverses Course on $2,500 ‘Misinformation’ Fines After Massive Pushback

“An AUP notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information. PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy… We’re sorry for the confusion this has caused.”

https://youtu.be/AugU0tzzxUY

PayPal landed itself in hot water big time last week after it was discovered that their updated “Acceptable Use Policy” (AUP) that was set to take effect on November 3rd included a a $2,500 fine for speech they deemed offensive or “misinformation.”

As Reclaim the Net reported at the time, though “PayPal’s clause about taking users’ funds for a violation of its rules has long been established,” they were set to “add restrictions to its acceptable use policy that go beyond illegal activities and fraud and into the realm of policing speech.”

Included in their write-up was the portion of the updated AUP specifically related to punishing speech:

The updated policy prohibits users from using PayPal for activities that:

“Involve the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials that, in PayPal’s sole discretion, (a) are harmful, obscene, harassing, or objectionable … (e) depict, promote, or incite hatred or discrimination of protected groups or of individuals or groups based on protected characteristics (e.g. race, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.) … (g) are fraudulent, promote misinformation … or (i) are otherwise unfit for publication.”

In an update to this story, PayPal is now saying that they have no such policy and that the notice about the AUP update “went out in error” and “included incorrect information”:

However, when contacted by FOX Business, a PayPal spokesperson said that the Acceptable Use Policy notice went out in error and that the company will not fine users for misinformation.

“An AUP notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information,” the spokesperson said. “PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy.”

The spokesperson added that the company is in the process of updating its policy changes and apologized for any confusion.

“Our teams are working to correct our policy pages. We’re sorry for the confusion this has caused,” the spokesperson added.

Visiting the page where policy updates are posted, the PDF link to the updated AUP that was originally on the page is no longer listed, and clicking on the original direct PDF link now takes you to a blank page.

The web archive versions of both, however, can be viewed here and here. As of October 7, both pages in their original form were still available for viewing on the PayPal website. So it looks like that sometime between Friday and Saturday, the pages were changed/pulled.

PayPal faced a wave of condemnations in the aftermath of the stories that were published shining sunlight on the policy changes, including from their former president, David Marcus, who called the new AUP “insanity”:

Elon Musk, who may soon be the new owner of Twitter and who was the co-founder of  X.com, “which merged with Confinity in 2000 to form PayPal,” told Marcus he “agreed”:

After learning of what PayPal initially planned to do, lots of people moved to close their accounts and made sure PayPal heard about it on Twitter:

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said on Twitter that his office would “be looking into the validity of PayPal’s new policy and taking any necessary action to stop this type of corporate activism”:

Because PayPal claimed the notice “went out in error” and contained “incorrect information,” some quipped that maybe PayPal should fine itself:

PublicSq CEO/founder Michael Seifert used the opportunity to promote his app, which helps conservatives and other independent-minded people find companies that aren’t woke. “Find a freedom-loving payment processor on our app,” he tweeted:

The general sentiment I saw on Twitter from conservatives was that most didn’t believe PayPal’s claim that the updated AUP contained “incorrect information,” with the majority seeming to believe they were only changing their tunes now because they got caught.

I’m inclined to agree with that assessment, considering PayPal’s infamous penchant for suspending and/or closing user accounts like Gays Against Groomers for the crime of WrongThink.

In any event, the good guys won in this case – for the time being anyway. But that still shouldn’t stop people from looking for alternatives to PayPal because regardless of their convenient change of heart, they’re still in the business of suppressing accounts for saying things they don’t like. They’re also committed to the whole ESG concept, “standards” that are seriously bad news in a free society.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

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Comments

I think that would have been an instant lawsuit and the company would lose it

E Howard Hunt | October 9, 2022 at 10:13 am

What took them so long? This was utterly predictable.

    Not if you live in a bubble. To those folks it is always a surprise to find out the real world is different.

      Another Voice in reply to irv. | October 10, 2022 at 9:01 pm

      On that note: “to those folks here is a real world Surprise”

      The Real world Responds!! As of this AM – Monday 10/10:

      PayPal’s value fell nearly $6 billion as backlash mounted. The company’s stock closed at $90.18 down from $92.18 on Friday afternoon and was trading at $85.40 soon after the market opened on Monday morning — roughly a 5.3% decline as thousands of social media users reacting over the weekend and announced that they would cancel their accounts.

      At the close of the Market – Monday Share price closed at $84.82.

      This is based on ‘just’ an announcement which caused the Market to reflect it’s investors opinion. Where it ends will also be determined the same way. What will be the level of telling how Bad, Bad is.

    technerd in reply to E Howard Hunt. | October 9, 2022 at 1:07 pm

    Regardless if PP recends the policy, it’s the final strike with me. It’s no longer important enough to have a PP account and wait for them to find some excuse to delete it. I’ll be deleting mine before they do.

      JohnSmith100 in reply to technerd. | October 9, 2022 at 4:02 pm

      Same for me, I deleted it a day or two ago. Clearly PayPal has a god complex, so much so that they are committing corporate suicide. I am more than willing to help them.

“PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy…”

LOL. Sure it wasn’t. Anyone who works for a company knows that nothing like this gets published without hundreds of reviews. If they are claiming that it was posted without approval name the person who was fired.

    Olinser in reply to Martin. | October 9, 2022 at 11:14 am

    Not to mention the length of time they let this stand before claiming it was a ‘mistake’.

    Allegedly it was published all the way back on Sep 26th.

    They didn’t walk it back until yesterday.

    That’s almost TWO WEEKS.

    No possible way a ‘mistake’ would stand that long.

    henrybowman in reply to Martin. | October 9, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    A red letter day!
    A woke company makes a “mistake” that screws wokesters instead of MAGAs!
    This may be a first in eight years of woke “mistakes!”

Too late, Paypal — I closed my accounts.

    cashin in reply to alien. | October 9, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Had an account for over a decade.

    Not anymore.

    Even if this was an “error.” It had already been typed up, looked at by more than a few people, and then posted on their website. They are rotten to the core, they deserve their failure.

    PayPal is probably the easiest boycott and cancellation, there is literally no excuse to use them if you’re a conservative or free-speech minded liberal.

    Cancel it this week and send the message.

PayPal just keeps shooting itself in the foot. I was never a big user but I closed my account years ago merely because of the way their executives were talking. Just look at their stock chart. Those dips are there for a good reason.

PayPal has become just the latest tone-deaf woke company that will only learn by going broke. They are beyond forgiveness for making “mistakes”. Hopefully, this is the one that does the trick.

Another deceiving name. Paypal is not your pal. Duh!

taurus the judge | October 9, 2022 at 10:55 am

This trend needs to continue every time a company goes “woke”.

We all know they meant every word of it and only when the backlash hit the pocketbook did they start back peddling.

So even the clarification is insincere- they have not changed anything.

They will just be quiet and find another devious better hidden way the next time.

Ok, I have a credit card that I use with PayPal, is this how they still? They would charge me account $2500?

What’s the alternative, yes this is insane

    JohnSmith100 in reply to gonzotx. | October 9, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    The card was the first thing I canceled, instead I opened a PenFed 2% unlimited credit union cash back card. I also canceled my Menards credit card. And I have sidelined my 4o year BofA card because they offered 3% cash back, I spent about $26,000 on it, and then they said they would only pay that up to $2500. So the cash back was actually 0.3%. I have moved all the automatic charge to that card, and put them on PenFed.

    None of these big banks should be patronized, they are all crooked SOBs.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to gonzotx. | October 9, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    That kind of charge would be subject to dispute, still it is better to simply stop using them.

      It’s very hard to dispute an authorized debit to a bank account. Use credit cards people, not debit cards. Many more protections are built into the credit card process.

Only $10 flows through it monthly, but I am closing my PayPal account. Can no longer trust them with access to my bank account.

    gonzotx in reply to Daiwa. | October 9, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    So they have access to my bank account?

      henrybowman in reply to gonzotx. | October 9, 2022 at 1:31 pm

      If you gave it to them they do.
      If you have a PP account log into it and look at the “Payment sources” page, or whatever it’s called. I no longer have any accounts so I can’t tell you precisely.

      Tiki in reply to gonzotx. | October 9, 2022 at 3:51 pm

      It’s obvious no one here really knows – but it doesn’t really matter – paypal is woke and it’s only a matter of timing before the company betrays its customers to state or federal agencies.

      If you set it up that way, they do.

      I wonder if they were intending to extract the wrongthink fines from people’s bank accounts if their PayPal didn’t have the money for the $2500 (for each “violation”)? It’s a passing thought, though, as I had a PayPal account for about a minute ten years ago and quit it when I saw the fees and other dodgy built in crap even back then.

        The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | October 10, 2022 at 8:28 am

        If they pulled the $2500 and your source didn’t have that much, you have PayPal’s theft attempt AND a healthy bounce fee from your bank.

      Another Voice in reply to gonzotx. | October 9, 2022 at 11:53 pm

      I have a similar type card and clear a cash back credit to off set my Christmas shopping.. A replacement for the Ole Christmas Clubs of yore 😊 I too have opted to go this route too….Good bye Pay Pal ..Hello Credit Card. My experience is it’s an easier time having a dispute on a charge reversed and taking a credit back until the vendor/seller owns up for bad product or service than it is to have the buying experience with EBay for an example and then having to file not only a dispute with EBay but also with PayPal. And then wait while they have use of my funds with out a resolution in a timely way and without a hassle of explanations.

      tom_swift in reply to gonzotx. | October 11, 2022 at 10:40 am

      PayPal made me give them access to get paid after unloading detritus on eBay. So I gave them access to a new bank account I set up solely for PayPal. The villainous creeps have access to a bank account, but not one of the serious ones.

      Daiwa in reply to gonzotx. | October 13, 2022 at 3:16 pm

      They require access to a source of funds, either a checking account or credit card, even if you put money into your PayPal account. When I trusted them, the checking account was the more convenient choice.

I have been a heavy paypal user for many years. It’s convenient. It prevents having to re-input your credit card and shipping address every time you buy something on the internet. But here’s where they screwed up — it’s convenient but not NECESSARY. I can continue to buy anything I want online without their help. I canceled my long-standing account 15 minutes after receiving their change-of-policy email. Given the speed of their turnaround, I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

smalltownoklahoman | October 9, 2022 at 12:44 pm

Good, not going to open a new account with them, but good. People pushed back hard against this BS and forced Paypal to back off of a horrible policy.

These sorts of missteps where the ideologues infesting the corporate go way too far and alert the wider public of their intentions through their actions provide a series of choices;

1. Will consumers give in to convenience and stay with them?
2. Will the smaller alternative companies be able to exploit the opportunity created by their bigger rivals?
3. Will State/Federal legislatures step into the moment and offer statutory protections for consumers?

    Another Voice in reply to CommoChief. | October 10, 2022 at 12:02 am

    Will the small retailer who has to pay up to 3-5% service fee for each credit card payment processed be able to do as much business without raising prices? PayPal does give the small business guy/gal to have a better profit margin.. which is the existence of small businesses.

I’m wondering if Meritless Garland and his minions were involved in this on the front end.

“PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy.”

This is their answer? That sentence alone is enough for a class action lawsuit because they implicitly reserve the right to fine for other policy “violations”. A private company has no delegated power to levy fines any more than they have the power to build prisons for use against their customers. They only have the authority to do that in only one form of government: Fascism.

Critical Roach Theory (CRT)

Too late.

I’ve been seeing descriptions of the account closure process that don’t resemble what I had to do just a few days ago. For me it was utterly painless and easily accomplished.

So apparently I got out just before management realized what was happening, and instituted a more aggressive customer-retention protocol.

I’m loving it.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to McGehee. | October 9, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    I ran into the same thing, where I had to call in to close it. I made it very clear that I am done with them.

    I pulled the trigger Thursday the 6th. I did navigate from the initial ‘delete account’ page to a link that included a ‘delete my data’ request. Simple as pushing a button and entering a confirmation code they sent by email. I did manually delete all but one pay source. Took about 24 hours to get the confirmation my account and data were deleted. On the ‘reason’ page, I just hope I spelled “woke-tards” correctly.

    Another Voice in reply to McGehee. | October 10, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    In closing mine, I received a code confirmation text and clicked on the close confirmation page it opened. Although in doing that, I did receive an email confirmation on every past used account for a payment made exclusive of EBay which I thought odd.

LibraryGryffon | October 9, 2022 at 3:49 pm

I gave up on them years ago. I used to have an account, but some years back when I tried to log in it told me there was no account attached to that email. So I tried to create a new one and was told that I couldn’t because that email already had an account attached to it. I’ve checked several times since and gotten the same set of messages.

Since it had no money in it, I’m not too worried, and if they did have bank account info, it would be for an account I closed years back.

Too late.

And I think they are lying about why they reversed. I prefer not to do business with liars and censors.

Wherever and whenever I have a workable alternative to Paypal I will take it.

Paypal is convenient. Not a necessity. CCs and debit cards can be used almost anywhere Paypal can be used.

I MIGHT believe this if the proggie warriors who instituted this supposedly erroneous policy were name, shamed and fired.

I’m considering using Paypal only to make contributions to conservative webs sites I think they probably hate.

I delinked my bank account and cards from it a couple of years ago and finally shut down the account this week. That account was 20 years old and no longer worth keeping.

Yeah, screw PayPal. They made a mistake? Bullshit. Nobody believes that. Like saying Dementia Joe asking for Walorski was due to “top of mind.” hahahaha, what a load.

I deleted all my linked cards and accounts first, then closed my PayPal and Venmo accounts.

Screw woke PayPal.

Is there anyone notable on Pay Pal’s Bd of Directors?

The major banks are already refusing service based on your politics, it’s only a matter of time before they try copying PayPal’s proposed policy to keep existing customers in line.

BierceAmbrose | October 9, 2022 at 10:57 pm

Interesting comments on PayPal, from a “well informed civilian” PoV. I am not endorsing this guy in general. Popped up as I was digging around about reactions to the PP wrongspeech fines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTrm720GQGw

Interesting because:

— He’s an example of independent thinking, solo “content” folks who are many these days. The book “The Long Tail” estimated it takes about 10,000 “true fans” to sustain an artist. The efficiency and reach of the internet lets even selective appeal folks find 10,000 true fans.

— A couple minutes in lists half a dozen other technical (operation(*)) choke points in the interweb. Grab those, and you can throttle who gets to do what as well as with financial transactions.

Learn those names and keep an eye on them. ISPs ditch people. The UN has been grabbing at “registrars”, and they’re not shy about imposing policy through utilities. Where do you think the gun transaction codes on sales came from?

One of the techno-wags, I think ESR(**), said: “The internet sees censorship as damage, and routes around it.”

As the overlords shut down the big, centrally gated piles of activity, they’re gonna make us all smugglers on the back e-streets. There’s a reason the bootleggers in US legend traveled the back roads. The cops were on the highways.

For the pseudo-confused out there:
(*) Callback to “Operation Choke Point” during The Light Bringer’s tenure. Choke off banking services to “undesirable” kinds of business, they couldn’t get made illegal. As a bonus, on the D-L, nobody knows you’re doing it.

Policies so good, you have to hide that you’re doing them. Goes with ideas so good, you have to force people to get on board.

(**) Eric S Raymond.

Yea, F paypal. Too late. And they are draggng their feet on closing accounts. Probably hoping people will change their minds. I suspect it was a massive number.

    Another Voice in reply to Barry. | October 10, 2022 at 12:10 am

    ‘ I suspect it was a massive number.’
    Two weeks from old policy back to old policy makes one wonder the exact number of closed accounts to have them not just have second thoughts but to do a complete 180??

It is beyond the realm of possibilities that a company would publish in error a AUP that PayPal published. I too plan to close my PayPal account. I want nothing to do with a company so ill managed.

Am I the only one who noticed that PP only recanted the fines for “misinformation”? That takes care of item g). What about the other things for which they evidently still claim the right to fine people?

Obscenity? Really?? How do they define that? SCOTUS admitted that it was unable to define it back in the 1960s before the era of Anything Goes came around. What passes for “obscene” today? Conservative views?

BiteYourTongue | October 10, 2022 at 9:38 am

Paypal has only seen the beginning of the fallout they have created. I suspect many more will be looking for alternative ways to conduct business online.

PayPal Reverses Course on $2,500 ‘Misinformation’ Fines After Massive Pushback

For now. The headline writer forgot to attach “For Now” to the end of it.

It takes certain in-house levels of authority and security to put stuff out on the public website. This is how PayPal’s management thinks. Therefore, their next try at penalizing wrongthink will not be quite so blatant.

Been an account holder since 2001. Unforunately, I have to use them to obtain pleadings in the local JDCs for work. I did uncouple my bank account from it. Credit cards only now. If they pull this shit in the future, then I’ll dispute the charge and fight them tooth and nail for it.

I’ll consider reopening my account when PayPal notifies me that they have paid me a $2,500 fine for their misinformation.

Here they are (drum roll), PayPal’s candidates (for its board of directors, direct from the 2022 proxy statement. (They lose about as often as a Democratic candidate for senate from NY. Note all those with strength in “ESG.”)

https://docs.publicnow.com/viewDoc?hash_primary=9760E44BEFD75FD6DDC08F97BECC2364B60E7DB0

buckeyeminuteman | October 10, 2022 at 8:49 pm

There is no possible way that message went out in error. It wasn’t a fat-finger or typo. They originally meant it and are now sorry that too man y people don’t agree with them. My wife and I just closed our accounts that were a decade or more old. We’ll get along just fine without paypal.

Oversoul Of Dusk | October 10, 2022 at 10:55 pm

Hmm. I haven’t been in my PayPal account for a while, and now I can’t get it at all. I log in ok, but it demands a phone number “for my protection”. Since I don’t want to give them a phone number, they won’t let me proceed.

There’s not even a “logout” button.

    Give them a wrong number.

      Paul in reply to Barry. | October 11, 2022 at 10:08 am

      They want to use your phone as a ‘two factor authentication’ device. This is actually a smart practice and pretty much universal on banking-related apps these days. Regardless, PayPal is still a tech tyrant that needs to be purged from everyday life.

I closed my paypal account.