PayPal put conservatives on notice with a proposed change to its acceptable use policy regarding “misinformation” or harming user “wellbeing.”
The ubiquitous payment processing company announced it will take up to $2,500 per violation from accounts that trigger its vague, seemingly arbitrary policy. PayPal has a reputation for banning individuals or companies for acts or speech they dislike. Now, it appears it will dip into the pockets of political opponents first.
Among the things the company indicates will justify seizing cash is “the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory or the financial exploitation of a crime.” That means people advocating against policies like critical race theory or LGBTQ in schools risk financial sanction from PayPal.
The Daily Wire further reported:
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.
Deliberations will be made at the “sole discretion” of PayPal and may subject the user to “damages” — including the removal of $2,500 “debited directly from your PayPal account.” The company’s user agreement contains a provision in which account holders acknowledge that the figure is “presently a reasonable minimum estimate of PayPal’s actual damages” due to the administrative cost of tracking violations and damage to the company’s reputation.
“Under existing law, PayPal has the ability as a private company to implement this type of viewpoint-discriminatory policy,” Aaron Terr, a senior program officer at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, explained to The Daily Wire. “Whatever motivation PayPal has for establishing these vague new categories of prohibited expression, they will almost certainly have a severe chilling effect on users’ speech. 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.”
The First Amendment of the Constitution enshrines the right of U.S. citizens to hold and voice their opinions. PayPal? Not so much.
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