Is it time to ditch PayPal? (updated)

PayPal is a very efficient and convenient way to transfer money, whether it’s for product and service sales, donations, or other transactions. The company has long offered a valuable service in an internet world, one in which transactions between strangers can span the globe. However, with its latest Acceptable Use Policy announcement, PayPal risks ceasing to be a service provider and is, instead, becoming a woke enforcer that will help itself to the contents of its customers’ accounts—the money they earned—if they offend its sensibilities.

The financial platform just announced an updated Acceptable Use Policy that is set to take effect on November 3. According to the update, if you advance “misinformation” or present a risk to a user’s “wellbeing,” the giant financial service company can swipe $2,500 from your account. Thus, the policy states in relevant part:

You may not use the PayPal service for activities that:

5. involve the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials that, in PayPal’s sole discretion, (a) are harmful, obscene, harassing, or objectionable, (b) depict or appear to depict nudity, sexual or other intimate activities, (c) depict or promote illegal drug use, (d) depict or promote violence,  criminal activity, cruelty, or self-harm (e) depict, promote, or incite hatred or discrimination of protected groups or of individuals or groups based on protected characteristics (e.g. race, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.) (f) present a risk to user safety or wellbeing, (g) are fraudulent, promote misinformation, or are unlawful, (h) infringe the privacy, intellectual property rights, or other proprietary rights of any party, or (i) are otherwise unfit for publication. (Emphasis mine.)

In wokespeak, “misinformation" currently means anything the left doesn’t like, as opposed to inaccurate information, while “wellbeing” is an utterly meaningless term that most often seems to apply to so-called transgender people whose feelings are hurt.

Image by Andrea Widburg, using a public domain picture of a vacuum cleaner, stack of money by janoon028, and a public domain/fair use image of the PayPal logo.

Should you engage in one of those loosely defined, subjective prohibited activities, PayPal won’t just give you the boot. Instead, PayPal gives itself permission unilaterally to take your money as a penalty:

Violation of this Acceptable Use Policy constitutes a violation of the PayPal User Agreement and may subject you to damages, including liquidated damages of $2,500.00 U.S. dollars per violation, which may be debited directly from your PayPal account(s) as outlined in the User Agreement (see “Restricted Activities and Holds” section of the PayPal User Agreement). (Emphasis mine.)

It’s worth noting that, when it comes to PayPal, these threats are not hypothetical. PayPal has already proven itself to be very, very woke. Just recently, PayPal summarily closed the account of a gay group that fights against child grooming.


PayPal reverses course, withdraws policy that would have fined users for 'misinformation'

And when it comes to so-called “misinformation,” last month, PayPal closed three accounts linked to Toby Young, who has been skeptical of COVID vaccinations. (The leftist outlet to which I linked, above, analyzing PayPal’s reason for shutting down Young’s accounts approves of PayPal’s decision.) That the so-called “misinformation” has consistently proven to be true or reasonably open to debate is irrelevant.

Thus, what we can say about PayPal’s policy is that what has been, for many years, a useful, well-run service will not only shut down people with whom it disagrees, it will unilaterally help itself to their money while it’s at it. That strikes me as a very bad business decision for a financial service to make. Given how vague PayPal’s definitions are, as new issues come up and words continue to have vague, subjective meanings, anyone (even a leftist) can find himself watching in disbelief as PayPal sucks funds from his account.

If you experience technical problems, please write to