Yahoo! Yahoo! Finance, Adam Sabes reported yesterday.
A new PayPal user agreement that threatens to fine users up to $2,500 if they use the service to “promote misinformation,” was sent out “in error,” a PayPal spokesperson tells FOX Business.
The updated PayPal Acceptable Use Policy effective Nov. 3 included an expansion of “prohibited activities,” which includes the “ending, posting, or publication of messages, content, or materials that meet certain criteria.”
The updated PayPal User Agreement states that any violation can result in liquidated damages up to $2,500.00 per violation. These would then be taken from the account.
One of the violations listed, according to the agreement, is that … “[users] may not use the PayPal service for activities that … involve the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials that, in PayPal’s sole discretion … promote misinformation.”
However, it is apparent that the policy remains in force for any speech according to PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policies, which were last updated on Sept. 20, 2020:
Infringing this Acceptable Use policy is a violation to the PayPal User Agreement. You could be subjected to damages including liquidated damages in excess of $2,500.00 U.S. dollar per violation. The damages can then be debited from your PayPal account(s), as detailed in the User Agreement.
You may not use the PayPal service for activities that … relate to … the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory or the financial exploitation of a crime ….
The “Restricted Activity and Holds Policy” cites that PayPal may take “Actions If You Engage In Any Restricted Activities.” This is based on PayPal’s sole discretion, if Paypal believes otherwise.[s]You have participated in one of these activities.”
So if PayPal “in [its] sole discretion” concludes that you’re using PayPal “for activities that … relate to transactions involving … promotion of” “discriminatory” “intolerance”—presumably including distributing publications, or for that matter buying publications (since that’s an activity related to transactions involving the promotion of certain views)—it can just take $2500 straight from your account.
You might, for example, criticize a religion. You might also be condemning government officials, such as FBI agents, police, and FBI officers. Some might call this “promotional hate.” Or praise for people who are violent (e.g. in justified self-defense or defense or resistance to others, war or revolution). PayPal won’t take any money from you if they think it is terrible.
It sounds like you should reconsider PayPal. Just now, I’ve withdrawn $1000+ from my PayPal account and am beginning the process to disentangle myself as much as possible.