PayPal takes a stand against extremists – on both sides of the political divide
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PayPal takes a stand against extremists – on both sides of the political divide

Online payments giant PayPal has recently announced that it will be ‘de-platforming’ a number of extreme political groups, closing their accounts. This move by PayPal is not unique – platforms from Twitter to Google have been restricting access to internet services for organisations and individuals that they deem problematic – throughout the latter part of the year so far. But PayPal’s action is, perhaps, unusual due to the large number of extremists they’ve barred. In doing so, they’ve aligned their business even further with mainstream millennial consumers, who are increasingly requesting that divisive views are given scant airtime.

PayPal’s share price has appreciated by 14% year to date

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Source: Yahoo Finance

Earlier this month, PayPal announced it would be cancelling accounts used the Proud Boys – a far right hate group that encourages violence. The company, however, is not taking an ideological side itself, and has also banned far left ‘Nazi punchers’ Antifa – much to their chagrin.

Proud Boy founder Gavin McInnes, Tommy Robinson (former leader of the far right English Defence League), and conspiracy theorist and broadcaster Alex Jones (owner of the notorious Infowars site) have also had their accounts closed this year. PayPal views this de-platforming as a crucial step in stemming the spread of ideologically inspired violence, by complicating these groups’ ability to raise money online.

In a statement, a PayPal spokesperson said: “Striking the necessary balance between upholding free expression and open dialogue and protecting principles of tolerance, diversity and respect for all people is a challenge that many companies are grappling with today. We work hard to achieve the right balance and to ensure that our decisions are values-driven and not political. We carefully review accounts and take action as appropriate. We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”

Disclosure
Dominion holds PayPal in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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