October 12, 2022

PayPal Reverses "Misinformation" Fine After Outcry

  • Executive

By Ophelia Garrett

In Brief: 

Multiple sources report PayPal has rapidly walked back a shocking new policy after widespread backlash.  The policy reportedly imposed a fine of $2500 per offense against users accused of “spreading misinformation.” PayPal was swift to release an announcement claiming it was all a mistake after The Daily Wire called attention to the scheme.

The Background: 

PayPal has a well documented track record of censoring anyone and any organization they don’t agree with, from commentator Toby Young and his nonprofit  Free Speech Union, to Gays Against Groomers, an organization opposing the sexualization of children and minors. Given the history of the company, it wasn’t truly shocking when an email was sent stating PayPal would be allowing the company to fine users $2,500 if they deem them guilty of “spreading misinformation.” 

Thankfully, the questions and backlash were swift incoming, even from PayPal co-founder Elon Musk. Apparently PayPal got the message, as they are now alleging the email was sent in “error” stating: "An [Accepted Use Policy] notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information. 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."

However it does beg the question: why was the policy in written form and available for distribution? 

Notable Quotes: 

“Whatever PayPal’s intentions may be, censorship and chilling free speech is precisely the effect of these kinds of vaguely worded policies. We’ve seen social media companies use similar policies to stifle free speech on their platforms. We can expect a similar outcome with PayPal.” – Jeremy Tedesco, vice president of corporate engagement at Alliance Defending Freedom

What do you think?