Get ready to march in lockstep if you want to use the globe’s best-known money-sending service.
Announced early but going into effect just a week before the midterm elections in November, PayPal’s latest terms and conditions policy not only upset consumers across the globe but also drew the rebuke of their former president David Marcus. Then again, anytime you threaten free speech, you should expect the American people to get upset and want to eliminate your company for such ideas. People have been running out of the country for less in the past.
Per their new policy, people who are “sending, posting, or publication of messages, content, or materials that meet certain criteria.” While the full statement breaks that down more, it’s best summed up as PayPal levying a fine when someone shares “misinformation” or promotes content they decide contains “discriminatory” language or “hate.” With $2,500 at stake for every slip, PayPal users have a lot to be concerned about.
Both Venture Capitalist David Sacks and Tech King Elon Musk agree that people need to get money out of and away from PayPal, as a private company threatening your money over free speech cannot be trusted.
David Marcus simplified it “It’s hard for me to openly criticize a company I used to love and gave so much to. But @PayPal’s new AUP goes against everything I believe in. A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity.”
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has attacked the policy as well and is calling for the Federal Government that pass laws to prevent discrimination by tech companies and preserve our free speech. Yet companies like Meta (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) have been disabling and deleting accounts over free speech disagreements for years. The American people have had to make secondary, fake, backup, or burner accounts just to stay on the platform and openly share views that Meta disagrees with.
Making policies to fine free Americans for using the First Amendment isn’t a private company telling you what you can and cannot do. It is a fine or a tax for using that free speech, something that can only be done by the Government by making you pay for a permit to hold a legal protest in a public area. By not having one, you could open yourself to a sizeable fine, and be broken up.
The decision by PayPal to release this kind of user policy must not have been reviewed by anyone with legal experience in the US, or even anyone familiar with our laws, policies, and history. As a nation, we shun the idea of being told what we can say, or who we can say it to. It just is not in the DNA of any worthwhile American to limit their speech because somebody disagrees or believes it is hateful. Quite honestly, sometimes the truth is incredibly mean, but it must be spoken.
With their backs against the wall, PayPal could lose a sizeable chunk of the money transfer business. While they have a secondary system in Venmo, people know they are connected, and won’t use the company at all. It also makes you sit back and wonder if this might have something to do with eBay parting ways with the company.
Even though PayPal and eBay were as synonymous as bacon and eggs, they separated a few years ago. As of now, their interconnectivity is incredibly limited, with eBay acting as the intermediary for someone paying by PayPal. Perhaps eBay saw the writing on the wall, and with such a change in its power structure, it’s not surprising that its leadership wants to limit what people say. They believe that have gotten that big, but they fail to remember how strong American resolve is. We have stared down other nations over free speech and will do the same to any company.