PayPal backs down on censorship

Oct 1, 2022

US financial technology company PayPal has been in the news in the past few weeks for all the wrong reasons.

It withdrew – with no notice – the account of the Free Speech Union, a campaign group which provides legal support for those targeted for their lawful speech.

With a third of the Union’s members using PayPal to pay their membership fees and access to funds in the account being blocked for at least six months, this left the organisation scrabbling around to minimise the damage.

MPs and Government ministers got involved, with Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg asking the company to justify its behaviour and MPs drafting a new law to prevent financial companies discriminating on the basis of political differences.

PayPal subsequently backed down on this occasion, but only, it appears, due to the public and political pressure. Many other victims of its ruthless purge of dissenters have not been so fortunate, and many people are now asking whether the company should be trusted.

PayPal is well known for taking sides on marriage and transgenderism, with critics of transgender ideology among those summarily demonetised by the company, and the company having donated $50,000 to the campaign for same-sex marriage in Australia.

PayPal has teamed up with censorious American outfits like the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which routinely call for the closing down of viewpoints expressing support for real marriage or opposing transgender ideology, smearing them as ‘extremist’ and ‘hateful’.

The worry is that ‘Big Tech’ companies with dominant market positions will gang up on supporters of marriage and other unfashionable views and exclude them from access to basic services like payment systems and bank accounts. This threat may sound far-fetched, but recent events suggest it is anything but. At C4M, we repeat our call for tolerance of differences of opinion and respect for those who disagree on marriage and other issues of the day.