Paypal to Fine Users $2,500 for Spreading ‘Misinformation’

© AP Photo / Jeff ChiuPayPal headquarters in San Jose, Calif
PayPal headquarters in San Jose, Calif - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.10.2022
Big Tech giants have censored conservatives before; this new policy change comes soon after PayPal canceled accounts belonging to the leader of Free Speech Union, a UK group that protects those at risk of being penalized for exercising their right to free speech.
A new policy from PayPal will allow the company to fine users who risk others’ “well-being” or spread “misinformation,” according to reports from the Dailywire.
Starting Nov. 3, the financial services company will pull up to $2,500 from the PayPal accounts of users who violate the expanded policy, which also prohibits “the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”
PayPal did not immediately respond when asked to define these terms, which will have a “chilling effect on users’ speech,” according to Aaron Terr, a senior program officer at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression to the Daily Wire.
“Under existing law, PayPal has the ability as a private company to implement this type of viewpoint-discriminatory policy,” said Terr. “ As is often the case with ill-defined and viewpoint-discriminatory speech codes, those with unpopular or minority viewpoints will likely bear the brunt of these restrictions.”
Founded by Peter Thiel, a known investor of GOP members, PayPal was purchased by eBay in 2002. Recently, PayPal has de-platformed organizations and individuals for their political commentary, especially those with right-wing sentiments.
The company also banned a group of self-identified LGBT people working against the sexualization and “medicalization” of children, leading its subsidiary Venmo to follow suit–raising questions about the nature of free speech.
Jeremy Tedesco, the vice president of corporate engagement at Alliance Defending Freedom warned that PayPal’s sanctions could be flirting with rights violations.
“When companies apply policies to restrict the religious speech of their customers, they could run afoul of prohibitions on religious discrimination that exist in many state and federal laws.”
Such is the argument of those who feel like Free Speech Union was wrongfully removed from the platform, leading UK lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to disparage PayPal for its “financial bullying.”
According to information reported originally at the Daily Wire, “roughly one-third” of Free Speech Union members use PayPal to complete membership obligations like the paying of dues.
“Whatever PayPal’s intentions may be, censorship and chilling free speech is precisely the effect of these kinds of vaguely worded policies,” Tedesco added.
The policy only applies to actions taken on PayPal’s platform.
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