PayPal Bans Alex Jones And InfoWars (#GotBitcoin?)
Alex Jones can add PayPal Holdings Inc. to the list of companies ending ties to the conspiracy theorist and his InfoWars website for hateful and intolerant behavior.
The payments company said Friday in a blog post that it will no longer offer its services to InfoWars and related websites. PayPal processes transactions such as credit card payments for websites and apps.
“We undertook an extensive review of the InfoWars sites, and found instances that promoted hate and discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions that run counter to our core value of inclusion,’’ the payments company said. “We believe that hatred and discrimination have no place in our democratic society and, we do not support this conduct.’’
PayPal joins a variety of other technology companies, including Apple Inc., Facebook Inc.. Google’s YouTube and Twitter Inc., in banning Jones and InfoWars from their platforms, saying he promotes hate speech, bullying and harassment.
Jones is known for spreading false allegations such as that the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was a hoax.
InfoWars shot back on its website, writing that the ban “represents nothing less than a political ploy designed to financially sabotage.’’ PayPal is giving the site 10 business days to switch payment processors before its services will be terminated.
PayPal took similar action in August 2017 to stop processing payments for groups associated with the hate march in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The San Jose, California-based company declined further comment on its action against InfoWars.
Paypal Bans Donations To WikiLeaks, Dec. 4th. 2010
The online payment service PayPal suspended the account used by WikiLeaks to collect donations.
The decision follows the publication by WikiLeaks of thousands of leaked US embassy cables.
WikiLeaks accused PayPal, which is based in America, of bowing to US Government demands to withdraw its service. PayPal is one of several methods that enables WikiLeaks to receive donations and finance its operations.
On Wednesday, Amazon ended an agreement to host WikiLeaks, forcing the website to switch to a Swiss internet address on Friday. It had also been dropped by another US internet service provider.
In a posting on WikiLeaks’ Twitter page, the website announced: “PayPal bans WikiLeaks after US government pressure.”
A statement on the PayPal site said: “PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action.”
The internet publisher directed users to http://www.wikileaks.ch after the wikileaks.org site on which it had published classified US government information vanished from view for about six hours.
PayPal General Counsel John Muller said: “While the account will remain restricted, PayPal will release all remaining funds in the account to the foundation that was raising funds for WikiLeaks.
According to The Washington Post, there was about $80,000 in the account.
Muller went on to defend the permanent closure of the account by saying the online payment site is “required to comply with laws around the world.”
“Ultimately, our difficult decision was based on a belief that the WikiLeaks website was encouraging sources to release classified material, which is likely a violation of law by the source,” he continued.
The letter didn’t cite any specific US statutes WikiLeaks was violating.
Muller’s argument made no mention of organizations such as the International Tibet Network, which continues to solicit donations through PayPal even though some of their activities almost surely violate Chinese laws.
Over the past few days, other financial services, including Visa, MasterCard, and the Swiss bank Post Finance, have also suspended services to Wikileaks and Assange.
The move has prompted criticism on Twitter and elsewhere by users who point out that Visa and MasterCard still permit payments to Ku Klux Klan groups but not to a group that so far has been charged with no crime.
Amazon said Wikileaks had failed to adhere to its terms of service. Amazon said on its website: “It’s clear that Wikileaks doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content.
Further it is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that Wikileaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted in such a way as to ensure that they weren’t putting innocent people in jeopardy.” Amazon said on its website.
Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, is believed to be in hiding in the south east of England. He is wanted in Sweden over alleged sex crimes.