PayPal updated and then changed its “misinformation” policy over the weekend.
The initial update implemented a guideline that says PayPal could remove $2,500 from an account’s balance should the company find the user guilty of “misinformation” or posting “hateful, violent, and racist” messaging.
The service planned to take censorship to new heights. While Facebook and Twitter simply remove a user for posting opinions that tech overlords do not approve, PayPal planned to fine them.
PayPal said its anonymous employees would have “sole discretion” over what qualifies as inappropriate and hateful. We assume inconvenient truths about Covid and American society qualify as “misinformation” on PayPal, as well.
But the sneaky change to the policy went sideways when The Daily Wire published the language on Saturday. PayPal trended for its authoritarian guidelines shortly after the report.
Influential users encouraged their followers to remove their remaining balance from the service:
Just moved all money I had in my PayPal account out of it. And I very must suggest you do the same.— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) October 8, 2022
This is serious.
They are delaying the transfer “pending review” for 12 hours. But at least it’s done. #PayPal is dead. pic.twitter.com/Cr1EA1yQjh
The phrase “Delete Paypal” soared on Sunday by as much as 1,300%.
Who knew stealing money from users for having the wrong opinions wouldn’t go over well? Apparently not PayPal.
Later in the weekend, PayPal announced that the policy change was a simple error. PayPal says it will not confiscate $2,500 from “misinformation-spreaders” at this time.
“An [Accepted Use Policy] notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information,” a PayPal spokesperson 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.”
In other words, the corporate press didn’t do a slick enough job defending such an overreach. Maybe next time?
The company’s excuse didn’t ease the concerns of shareholders, either. On Monday, PayPal stock fell over 6% following its weekend tricks.
“PayPal [lost[ over $6 billion in market capitalization. Shares closed at $84.52 on Monday, marking a 6.3% decline from $90.18 on Friday. In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq fell 1% as of market close,” the Daily Wire reports.
Good to see PayPal struggling after it attempted to withdraw money, without notice, from users to one-up the thought-police on social media