Sunday, February 25, 2024

Here’s Why You Should Go Ahead And Delete PayPal Anyway

On Saturday, PayPal took Big Tech censorship to a new level. The payment processor announced that it would take $2,500 out of users’ accounts for spreading “misinformation.”

A new policy update from PayPal will permit the firm to sanction users who advance purported “misinformation” or present risks to user “wellbeing” with fines of up to $2,500 per offense.

The financial services company, which has repeatedly deplatformed organizations and individual commentators for their political views, will expand its “existing list of prohibited activities” on November 3. Among the changes are prohibitions on “the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials” that “promote misinformation” or “present a risk to user safety or wellbeing.” Users are also barred from “the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”

The company’s current acceptable use policy does not mention such activities. The Daily Wire reached out to PayPal for definitions of the added terms, although no response was received in time for publication.

The policy applies to actions taken using PayPal’s platform.

After a social media outcry denouncing the move, PayPal reversed course. The company claims that the announcement that it was fining customers for “misinformation” was sent out in error.

But that is hard to believe. Companies, especially large ones like PayPal, don’t change their terms of service without running it by lawyers first. PayPal is mad that they got caught trying to pull a fast one.

It’s too late for PayPal. PayPal’s stock was down over 6% in Monday’s trading. Not only that, “Delete PayPal” searches are spiking.

The term “BoycottPayPal” was trending on Twitter over the weekend after the acceptable use policy (AUP) change came to light. 

What’s more, Google searches for “how to cancel PayPal” and “cancel PayPal account” were still trending on Monday morning, along with “delete PayPal account” and “how do I delete a PayPal account.” 

The Financial World news portal also reported that global Google searches for “delete PayPal” spiked 1,392% after the AUP announcement and the company’s subsequent apology, according to Google Trends data.

And boldfaced names including PayPal’s previous president, David Marcus, Tesla’s Elon Musk and Congresswoman Lauren Boebert — not to mention “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” actor Kevin Sorbo — have joined the PayPal backlash on Twitter. 

Do you think this is over? Nope. PayPal still threatens to take $2,500 from you if you promote “discriminatory” “intolerance.”

And the cited “Restricted Activities and Holds” policy makes clear that “Actions We May Take if You Engage in Any Restricted Activities” are determined based on PayPal making the decision “in our sole discretion,” if Paypal “believe[s] that you’ve engaged in any of these activities.”

So if PayPal “in [its] sole discretion” concludes that you’re using PayPal “for activities that … relate to transactions involving … promotion of” “discriminatory” “intolerance”—presumably including distributing publications, or for that matter buying publications (since that’s an activity related to transactions involving the promotion of certain views)—it can just take $2500 straight from your account.

Might you, for instance, be sharply criticizing a religion? Or saying things that sharply condemn, say, government officials (police, FBI, etc.) in ways that some might say involve “promotion of hate”? Or praising people who have acted violently (e.g., in what you think is justifiable self-defense, or defense of others, or even war or revolution)? If PayPal thinks it’s bad, it’ll just take your money.

How do we fight back against this? The first thing we need to do is to stop using PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo. There are plenty of competitors such as Cash App, Stripe, and Zelle. Not to mention competitors that are targeted at conservatives such as AlignPay and Glorifi.

PayPal needs to learn the hard way that if you “go woke, go broke.” Keep protesting them on social media. They need to be made an example of.

Then we need to keep pressure on the entire financial services industry to make sure it does not follow in PayPal’s footsteps. We need to look for ways to limit the ability of these companies to discriminate based on political beliefs. We should also reconsider the laws that let them just steal money out of our accounts without recourse.

If you’re still using PayPal, stop doing it. They need to be made an example of.