“PayPal’s clause about taking users’ funds for a violation of its rules has long been established. But […] effective on November 3rd, 2022, PayPal will add restrictions to its acceptable use policy that go beyond illegal activities and fraud and into the realm of policing speech.” – via Reclaim the Net.
It’s no big secret that Big Tech’s tentacles have a vast reach, with platforms like Facebook and Twitter admitting in so many words after the fact to deliberately suppressing news content prior to the 2020 presidential election that portrayed then-Democratic nominee for president Joe Biden and his international wheelin’ and dealin’ son Hunter in a less than flattering light being one of the more notable examples.
But as has already been made clear by online payment systems like PayPal and Venmo, even more silencing of alternative points of view is needed in the form of financial strangulation if necessary, which can occur via shutting down accounts entirely or, in PayPal’s case, will soon also potentially include $2,500 fines for WrongThink, according to a recently updated acceptable use policy set to take effect in November.
As reported by Reclaim the Net:
PayPal’s clause about taking users’ funds for a violation of its rules has long been established. But, as published on September 26th and to be effective on November 3rd, 2022, PayPal will add restrictions to its acceptable use policy that go beyond illegal activities and fraud and into the realm of policing 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.”
Big Tech platforms are increasingly finding ways to punish people’s speech under the guise of banning 🛡 “misinformation,” and making themselves as the arbiters of truth in deciding what is and isn’t true.
Yep, and in PayPal’s case, they specifically state that they can fine users $2,500 for alleged “misinformation” and supposed hate speech.
“Violation of this Acceptable Use Policy constitutes a violation of the PayPal User Agreement and may
subject you to damages, including liquidated damages of $2,500.00 U.S. dollars per violation, which may be debited directly from your PayPal account(s),” the new policy reads.
As Fire.org also noted, PayPal has been under fire in the U.K. in recent weeks for what critics called viewpoint-based discrimination against users:
Two weeks ago, PayPal shuttered the account of the Free Speech Union, a London-based organization founded by social commentator Toby Young to advocate for free expression. PayPal also closed Young’s personal account and that of his news and opinion website, The Daily Sceptic.
On Tuesday, PayPal reinstated the accounts, but only after sustained public criticism of the company’s apparently viewpoint-discriminatory actions.
In typically murky fashion, PayPal initially gave Young no reason for the bans other than to say that the accounts violated the company’s vague acceptable use policy. However, a PayPal spokesperson told the press, “Achieving the balance between protecting the ideals of tolerance, diversity and respect for people of all backgrounds and upholding the values of free expression and open dialogue can be difficult, but we do our best to achieve it.” Other reports indicate PayPal’s decision to close the accounts had to do with alleged COVID-19 misinformation.
Gosh, this all sounds nauseatingly familiar, doesn’t it?
What’s especially horrid about how PayPal operates beyond being able to yank $2,500 from your account because you posted something they disagree with is that there typically is no advance warning and no appeals process. It just happens and you have very little recourse, as GetPayment explained:
PayPal creates their own Acceptable Use Policy, which effectively allows them to play by their own rules. Their payment processing services are unregulated compared to full-service merchant services providers. That means merchants have no legal recourse to resolve these issues or get their funds reimbursed.
To make matters worse, there is no defined appeals process. They can ban you without warning, potentially without allowing you to cash out your account balance for six months. Plus, they can fine you multiple times to deplete your balance—and there’s not much you can do to stop them.
As to how to fight back against such Orwellian tactics? Getting even louder is, of course, a big reason why Big Tech operations like PayPal put such policies in place, to begin with.
While there are some viable alternatives to PayPal, their partnerships with financial institutions can mean the service providers and users possibly being subjected to woke ESG standards and summarily canceled as a result, which Republican governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis are trying to stop.
Still, they are worth exploring for anyone concerned with PayPal’s increasing overreach and control over what its users say on their websites.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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