PayPal bans far-right activist Tommy Robinson for promoting 'hate, violence and intolerance' through site

The firm reportedly said that its platform could not be used to 'promote hate, violence or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory'


                            PayPal bans far-right activist Tommy Robinson for promoting 'hate, violence and intolerance' through site

The popular online payment service PayPal has reportedly banned the far-right, former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson for violating the terms and conditions of its website. Reports stated that the company told Robinson he will no longer be able to process payments through PayPal because he flouted the rules set for its customers.

The firm reportedly said that its platform could not be used to "promote hate, violence or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory."

Far-right figurehead Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon stands beside a man in a Donald Trump mask as he addresses supporters outside the Old Bailey on October 23, 2018, in London, England. The Former English Defence League leader and British National Party member is facing a re-trial on charges of contempt. (Getty Images)
Far-right figurehead Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon stands beside a man in a Donald Trump mask as he addresses supporters outside the Old Bailey on October 23, 2018, in London, England. The Former English Defence League leader and British National Party member is facing a re-trial on charges of contempt. (Getty Images)

A PayPal spokesperson, while talking to the Daily Mail, in a statement said although it can not comment on individual customers, the website regularly reviews accounts to ensure that its users align with the company's acceptable use policy. The spokesperson added that any accounts which violate the policies of the firm would be shut down.

"We carefully review accounts to ensure our services are used in line with our long-standing Acceptable Use Policy, and take action as appropriate. We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory," the spokesman said. "We do not take decisions like these lightly, and we work hard to be rigorous and fair-minded when reviewing PayPal accounts."

"Striking the necessary balance between upholding free expression and open dialogue and protecting principles of tolerance, diversity and respect for all people is a challenge that many companies are grappling with today. We work hard to achieve the right balance and to ensure that our decisions are values-driven and not political," the statement added.

Anti-fascist demonstrators are seen as supporters of Far-right activist Tommy Robinson gather before hearing of his release on bail after appealing against a charge of contempt of court, at High Court on August 1, 2018, in London, England. Robinson received a 13-month jail term after broadcasting from outside Leeds Crown Court during a trial. The case will now be heard again, before a different judge, due to technical flaws in the initial case. (Getty Images)
Anti-fascist demonstrators are seen as supporters of Far-right activist Tommy Robinson gather before hearing of his release on bail after appealing against a charge of contempt of court, at High Court on August 1, 2018, in London, England. Robinson received a 13-month jail term after broadcasting from outside Leeds Crown Court during a trial. The case will now be heard again, before a different judge, due to technical flaws in the initial case. (Getty Images)

The decision from the online payment service comes months after it banned US conspiracy theory website InfoWars in September for the same reason. Reports state that nearly 65,000 people had signed a petition by a global advocacy group called SumOfUs, urging PayPal to cut ties with the far-right leader.

SumOfUs campaign manager, Tom Barns, said: "This is a big step forward. Hate crimes are on the rise across the UK and Europe, and fascists like Tommy Robinson need money to spread their message of hate."

Robinson was reportedly also banned from Twitter in March. Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, earlier this week, announced that Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, will not be subjected to any bail conditions after referring his contempt of court case to the Attorney General. He was freed from prison in August.