Don’t Stand for PayPal’s Corporate Authoritarianism

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Wednesday, October 12, 2022


In a recent policy update, the online payment and financial service company, PayPal, announced they would begin fining users up to $2,500 if they used PayPal’s services in any way to “promote misinformation”, “promote, or incite hatred or discrimination of protected groups or of individuals or groups based on protected characteristics (e.g. race, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.)”, or “present a risk to user safety or wellbeing,”- all so defined under “PayPal’s sole discretion”.

The policy was quickly reversed after immediate social media backlash. Following the fiasco, the company attempted to save face by claiming that the policy was posted in error. We shouldn’t give them the benefit of the doubt. 

The fact remains that this policy was written by PayPal employees and posted on their website. They also have demonstrated a history of corporate censorship. Most notably the company axed accounts in association with Gays Against Groomers, “a coalition of gays against the sexualization, indoctrination and medicalization of children”; the Free Speech Union, a British free speech advocacy group; and the Daily Sceptic, “a hub for sceptical articles, academic papers and interviews that had appeared elsewhere, as well as a place for experts and non-experts to air views they couldn’t get published anywhere else”.

We’re now living in a world where claiming that men can’t get pregnant is considered hate speech, dissenting in any way from the mainstream narrative is considered spreading misinformation, and every and anything can be seen as presenting a risk to someone else’s well-being. PayPal attempted to add a policy that potentially anyone could be deemed to be in violation of, especially those on the political right in any capacity. PayPal hates you, stop giving them your business.

Though they retracted this policy for the moment, they clearly only did so due to public backlash. If PayPal had its way, the policy would still be in place. We should not support a company that would even consider implementing such an authoritarian standard 

Some may claim that this is cancel culture. But cancel culture is not voluntarily retracting your business from a 100-billion-dollar company. It is targeting a private individual, digging through their social media to find one objectionable post, and ruining their lives over it. In order to be ideologically consistent, we do not have to continue supporting a company that wishes they could steal your money for voicing naughty opinions.

Companies that attempt to engage in corporate censorship are not entitled to your business and do not deserve your respect. We need to make it clear that this behavior is unacceptable and scare any other entities that might attempt to practice something similar. The market still reigns in the United States, if we make it clear that we won’t stand for this sort of behavior, companies will listen and take note. 

Authoritarianism is dangerous wherever it may come from, whether government or business. We have, however, an extremely easy means of fighting back against corporate authoritarianism, especially in this case. Simply delete your PayPal account and refuse to sign back up.

Caleb Seavey is currently a student at Cedarville University. He is a political science major who plans to go on to pursue a career in law.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Caleb Seavey

Caleb Seavey is currently a student at Cedarville University. He is a political science major who plans to go on to pursue a career in law.

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