The financial payment services company PayPal was on track to impose fines of up to $2,500 for users who violate a “misinformation” clause in their Terms of Service (TOS) – until users pushed back.
PayPal said it would add items to an existing list of “prohibited activities” which would include “the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials” that “promote misinformation” or “present a risk to user safety or wellbeing.”
The company’s users would also be fined if they were deemed to be promoting “the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.” These new terms would allow PayPal to remove $2,500 for each perceived offense, according to reporting by the Daily Wire.
But conservatives, Republicans and free speech advocates pushed back. Candace Owens, popular conservative author and podcaster, said she removed all money from PayPal and suggested her users do the same.
The former President of PayPal David Marcus even came out against the new PayPal TOS. In a Twitter exchange, Marcus and PayPal co-founder Elon Musk criticized the company’s move and said the terms go “against everything I believe in.”
After immense pushback, PayPal decided to reverse course on the policy, blaming it on an “error.” A spokesperson for PayPal said, “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.”
Many users believe PayPal did not apologize because they had a change of heart, but rather, that their policy was exposed on a national level.
It’s unknown whether PayPal will try to reinstate similar policies in the future. The company has de-platformed the anti-pedophilia group “Gays Against Groomers” – even though PayPal hosts pro-pedophilia groups on the platform.
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