This one has to be highly embarrassing for PayPal.
According to the Daily Wire, after its recent report on PayPal’s plan to fine users for promoting “misinformation,” PayPal has decided to scrap the policy.
Daily Wire published its initial report over the weekend. The report revealed that PayPal was planning to implement a policy that would sanction users who promote “misinformation” with fines of up to $2,500.
The Daily Wire reported:
The financial services company, which has repeatedly deplatformed organizations and individual commentators for their political views, will expand its “existing list of prohibited activities” on November 3. Among the changes are prohibitions on “the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials” that “promote misinformation” or “present a risk to user safety or wellbeing.” Users are also barred from “the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”
Throughout the remainder of its report, the Daily Wire quotes several experts as explaining the “chilling effect” that this policy would have on user speech.
Jeremy Tedesco, of Alliance Defending Freedom, told the outlet, “Whatever PayPal’s intentions may be, censorship and chilling free speech is precisely the effect of these kinds of vaguely worded policies.”
“We’ve seen social media companies use similar policies to stifle free speech on their platforms,” he added. “We can expect a similar outcome with PayPal.”
Suffice it to say that many PayPal users did not take too kindly to the policy. And, now, PayPal has seemingly decided to scrap it.
“An [Accepted Use Policy] notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information,” PayPal said. “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.”
You can judge for yourself whether or not PayPal is being honest here about the policy going out in error. It seems more likely to be the case that PayPal wasn’t expecting such a negative response.
But, if it was indeed an error, where did the policy even come from?
The fact that this idea was even being considered by PayPal is probably enough to turn many people away from the company.