Laura Dodsworth has interviewed Toby about PayPal’s shocking and “ironic” deplatforming of the Free Speech Union and the Daily Sceptic. In the introduction on her Substack page (which you can subscribe to here) she sums up what makes this latest piece of censorship from the woke tech giant so worrying.
PayPal has closed the accounts of the Free Speech Union, the Daily Sceptic and founder Toby Young’s personal account. Since all three accounts were shut at once and PayPal won’t specify exactly why it has taken this action, it would appear to be a blatant case of censorship.
This is Big Tech bowdlerisation and banditry as PayPal is also withholding Toby’s funds (which it has the right to do) while it decides whether to apply damages. Make no mistake: this is a chilling insight into a world of social credit scores and programmable currencies, where your money can be turned off at the flick of a switch if you don’t behave.
It does not bode well that the Bank of England is consulting with PayPal, among others, about how to develop a CBDC [Central Bank Digital Currency].
Here’s an excerpt from the interview.
How do you feel about it?
I’m really angry about it. How dare they? I’ve had my personal account for nine years and never heard a peep about violating its policies before now. I’ve been paying the 1.5% commission on all transactions without complaint. Where does it get the nerve? To just pull the rug out from under me, with no notice, just accused, tried and convicted all at once, with no possibility of parole. Thank God PayPal isn’t running the criminal justice system!
What are the implications for your organisations and for you personally?
I only used my personal account three or four times a year, although it has more than £600 sitting in it and I can’t get that out. PayPal reserves the right to hold on to the funds for 180 days in case it wants to extract “damages” for violating its Acceptable Use Policy. But the cancellation of the Daily Sceptic and FSU accounts is really serious. About a quarter of the Daily Sceptic’s donors were using PayPal and about a third of the FSU’s 9,500 members are using PayPal to process their recurring membership dues.
Is this an existential threat to what you are doing?
No, we’ll survive. In fact, I think we’ll come back stronger. And the FSU is going to try to get the law changed so PayPal and other financial services companies can’t deplatform other people for expressing political views they disapprove of. I feel like saying to PayPal, “You messed with the wrong guy.”
How will you mitigate the threat?
We’ve had to contact all supporters of the Daily Sceptic and the FSU using PayPal and tell them to switch to a different payment processor. But, inevitably, some of them won’t open the email, some will assume it’s a phishing scam and some just won’t bother to switch. We’ll undoubtedly lose a lot of revenue as a consequence.
What legal action can you take? What are PayPal’s contractual obligations to you?
I’m currently looking into that. More soon. But whatever happens, we’ll make a complaint to the Financial Conduct Authority.
What sort of company are you in? Who else has this happened to?
It’s happened to Us4Them, the lobby group set up by three mums to try to get schools reopened during the lockdown. The U.K. Medical Freedom Alliance and the Exposé – both have raised reservations about the mRNA vaccines, so that’s probably the reason they’ve been deplatformed – and, in the U.S., Colin Wright, a gender critical evolutionary biologist, and a couple of Left-wing sites that oppose the war in Ukraine, Consortium News and Mint Press. But I’m sure there are many others. In February, PayPal announced it had closed 4.5 million accounts.
Laura provides a helpful list of possible actions for those who’ve had enough of “censorship, deplatforming and the erosion of liberty”. They include:
- Become a member of the Free Speech Union.
- Complain to PayPal about this transparently political act of censorship.
- Write to your MP if you have concerns about censorship, deplatforming and the financial punishment of these websites. As the Bank of England and Treasury investigate the development of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) it’s vital that people’s financial security is protected. Not only do individuals and businesses need protection now from companies like PayPal, but they will need it even more so in an increasingly cashless society. It does not bode well that the Bank of England is consulting with PayPal, among others, about how to develop a CBDC.
- Share the #BoycotPayPal hashtag on Twitter.
- Share this article and spread the word.
Worth reading in full (of course).
Stop Press: Toby points out that he has expunged all traces of PayPal from both the Daily Sceptic and the Free Speech Union. So if you’re a donor to the first or a member of the second, there’s no need to change anything unless PayPal was processing your payments. He has already emailed all those affected by the PayPal account closures telling them what they need to do. If you haven’t heard from him, there’s no need to do anything.
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