December 8, 2022

Limited GovernmentMarkets & Free Enterprise

PayPal’s Concerning Move Toward Financial Tyranny

By: Ericka Andersen

You might think an electronic payment app would be fairly neutral. It’s literally a transactional situation. But when it comes to Big Tech, there is no neutral anymore. PayPal is the latest entity to come under scrutiny for saying it would fine customers $2,500 for spreading “misinformation,” a loaded term if there ever was one. 

Although they rescinded that policy amid online outrage and tanking stocks, they remain suspect and discriminatory against some groups. House Republicans aren’t letting the “mistake” slip by and are now asking if the policy was written in conjunction with the Biden Administration. 

“As a leading financial technology company, it is concerning that a user agreement that contemplates the restriction of free speech was uploaded and disseminated to PayPal users—even if in error,” reads a letter from House Republicans to PayPal CEO Dan Schulman. 

Despite taking pay the policy, PayPal still holds another one that threatens to destroy those who are accused of “discrimination,” “hatred” and “intolerance.” Those definitions are also up for debate, and left to PayPal employees to judge. 

Apparently, they are judging one group harshly. Gays Against Groomers was banned from the platform recently, which little explanation as to why. The group’s founder, Jaimee Mitchell, said they had never received a violation before and were inexplicably banned. 

Though their account has since been reinstated, the concern remains. Gays Against Groomers exist to combat sexualizing children into extreme LGBTQ ideology, an idea that goes against the progressive tide. Though they are not conservative, it is those organizations and individuals who hold non-progressivee views that are regularly penalized by Big Tech entities. 

“No other LGBT organization would ever be banned from their platform if they fell in line with this agenda,” said Mitchell. “But we don’t, and we’re not scared by this. We’re not intimidated. We’re not going to stop. It only makes us stronger.”

When financial institutions rob users of their ability to make money, we are on shaky ground. This is a foundational issue of freedom of speech and privacy, one that ought to scare liberty-loving Americans. It’s nice that PayPal rescinded the policy, but what’s next? While we can certainly create and use alternative methods, doing business in the larger world means we need access to the most accessible options. 

It was nice to see PayPal’s former President David Marcus tweeting against the temporary policy, but he’s not in charge anymore. Folks like Elon Musk are also against these kinds of restrictions, and we need as many of those voices – and dollars – as possible pushing back against this.