PayPal Cancels $2,500 Fine For Users Who 'Promote Misinformation' After Backlash

Written by Hudson Crozier

What happened: Financing app PayPal planned to update its list of “prohibited activities” to include controversial speech or “misinformation” starting November 3. It then canceled the policy amid outcry from conservatives and the company’s former president.

The policy: PayPal planned to fine users $2,500 for “the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials” that “promote misinformation,” which would be defined at the company’s “sole discretion.” It removed the policy a day later, claiming it was posted “in error.”

This isn’t new: PayPal has hundreds of millions of users worldwide and has become increasingly politicized in recent years, with Pride Month marketing and restrictions on “hate” and “intolerance.” It has also deplatformed the accounts of activist groups without explanation, such as Moms for Liberty, Gays Against Groomers, and the Free Speech Union. Even PayPal’s former president called the proposed misinformation policy “insanity,” arguing that a private company shouldn’t be able to “take your money if you say something [it disagrees] with.”

Big picture: Conservatives have long suspected banks and financial companies of political discrimination against users for their speech or other lawful activity, such as purchasing and selling firearms. Republicans at the state and federal levels have promised legislation to guarantee equal access to these services for all Americans.