The TRUTH behind rumors PayPal can remove $2,500 from your account if it thinks you're spreading misinformation

The TRUTH behind rumors PayPal can remove $2,500 from your account if it thinks you're spreading misinformation
(Representative Image/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA: The financial services company, PayPal has introduced a new policy that will enable it to sanction users fines up to $2.500 per offense if found guilty of advancing purported "misinformation." In other words, it also means those individuals who present a risk to the user "wellbeing." PayPal is not new to crackdown against organizations and individual commentators when it comes to their political views. The latest update will be applicable from November 3, and will expand its "existing list of prohibited activities."

It will now keep an incessant tab on "the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials that promote misiformation" or "present a risk to user safety or wellbeing." The new policy further barred users from "the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that are discriminatory." Deliberation will be made at the "sole discretion’" of PayPal and may subject the users to "damages," which include controversial removal of $2,500 "debited directly from user’s PayPal account" per offence, as per The Daily Wire. The finance company reasoned that the number was decided considering administrative cost of tracking violations and damage to the company’s reputation.

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Aaron Terr, a senior program officer at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, reflected on PayPal's new policy, “Under existing law, PayPal has the ability as a private company to implement this type of viewpoint-discriminatory policy.” He added, “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 decision came in the wake of PayPal’s decision to cancel three accounts linked to Toby Young, a commentator who manages the nonprofit ‘Free Speech Union’. The group has openly supported comedian Russell Brand, who moved his show from YouTube to Rumble due to censorship from the popular video site.

PayPal didn’t give a proper explanation for their action, other than mentioning a "breach of the acceptable use policy," said the report. However, the company succumbed under public pressure and had to restore Brand’s account and apologize, reported The Telegraph. Major platforms, including Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook had too taken a strict stand in past, against conservatives and other elements who opt for heterodox positions on controversial social issues.

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Especially, against transgenderism, and homosexuality, platforms such as GoFundMe confiscated millions of funds raised for trucker protests in Canada that were supposed to take place earlier this year. Jeremy Tedesco, vice president of corporate engagement at Alliance Defending Freedom said, “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.”

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Many PayPal users have slammed this decision and took to Twitter to share their reactions. One user wrote, "Delete your #PayPal account now." Another tweeted, "It’s not “misinformation” #PayPal wants to censor, it’s dissent. I saw what they did to the Canadian truckers, I see what they’re doing to independent content creators. I’m closing out. I hope they get litigated into oblivion." One wrote, "Surely this renders #Paypal unusable? They will have sole discretion to charge you $2500 if they believe you are funding anything 'objectionable' or spreading 'misinformation'! Who could even contemplate taking this risk?" Another reacted, "I didn’t need more reasons to avoid #PayPal but here we go…"

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Other individuals and groups PayPal had sanctioned recently include Gays Against Groomers, a group known for opposing the sexualization of children, Colin Wright, an evolutionary biologist, and Ian Miles Cheong, a journalist.

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