Proving that irony can indeed be delicious, this week thousands of PayPal customers closed their accounts after the payment platform threatened to fine users thousands of dollars for promoting “misinformation”.
The bizarre policy update was recently announced by PayPal. It deemed “the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials” that “promote misinformation” or “present a risk to user safety or wellbeing” as a prohibited activity under its Accepted Use Policy.
The policy update—since revoked by PayPal—would have allowed the company to sanction its customers with fines of up to $2,500 per offence. The update had also threatened fines for “the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory”. Decisions would have been made at PayPal’s sole discretion.
The Daily Wire broke the story about PayPal’s latest woke sellout over the weekend, prompting thousands of social media users to mock the company, call for boycotts, and announce the closure of their PayPal accounts.
Many compared it to the social credit system used by the Chinese Communist Party to suppress its citizens’ dissent. Others warned that Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), currently under trial in many Western nations, could soon be weaponised in the same way.
Elon Musk, who created PayPal’s forerunner X.com was one of many upset. In response to former PayPal president David Marcus’ tweet, “A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity,” Musk gave a terse reply: “Agreed.”
PayPal has since reversed course, claiming that the update went out “in error”.
“An [Accepted Use Policy] notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information,” a PayPal spokesperson told the Daily Wire. “PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy. We’re sorry for the confusion this has caused.”
Not everyone found the apology convincing, with PayPal facing a second wave of social media backlash.
“Why would PayPal have written out the terms for taking $2500 from people who spread ‘misinformation’ if they weren’t going to implement it at some point,” conservative activist Ryan Fournier mused. “You don’t just have copy sitting around like that for no reason. This was no mistake.”
“PayPal isn’t sorry, they’re just mad they got caught,” tweeted actor Kevin Sorbo.
“So the PayPal $2,500 misinformation fine was misinformation? Does that mean they owe us $2,500? #BankruptPaypal,” another one Twitter user quipped.
PayPal’s share price plummeted by over 6 percent following news of its woke policy somersault.
This is not PayPal’s first venture into the world of wokeness.
Last April, it cut ties with evolutionary biologist Colin Wright for his belief that biological sex is real, there are only two sexes, and the differences between males and females matter. Wright had relied on PayPal to receive payments from subscribers to his Substack page.
“You can no longer do business with PayPal,” an out-of-the-blue email informed Wright, after trans activists had dobbed on him. “After a review, we decided to permanently limit your account as there was a change to your business model or your business was considered risky.”
Wright’s PayPal account has been locked ever since and his money is inaccessible.
Other users banned from PayPal include conservative commentator Ian Miles Cheong; Toby Young, editor of both the UK-based Daily Sceptic and the Free Speech Union; and the newly founded gay rights organisation Gays Against Groomers.
Whether the boycott against PayPal has sent a strong enough message to banks and payment platforms remains to be seen.
What’s certain is that a tide of sanity is rising around the West. Swarms of ordinary citizens do not consent to being fined for believing fundamental facts of the universe that were taken for granted until five minutes ago.
Their message has been received loud and clear.