*****SPAM***** [Politech] Paypal reportedly penalizes opinionated liberals, conservatives

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Mon Sep 27 2004 - 06:32:07 PDT

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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: PayPal penalizing opinionated liberals and conservatives
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 18:13:22 +0000
From: qx49@private
To: declan@private

Your Politech readers might be interested in this...

I found an interesting post on Kevin Drum's washingtonmonthly.com blog 
about PayPal penalizing opinionated liberals and conservatives. (Warning 
to your conservative readers, Kevin's blog is a liberal blog, so don't 
follow this link if you'll be offended by the content ;-).

Kevin Drum's link...

Original story about Bill Quick's (conservative) web site being 
penalized by PayPal...

Original story about TalkLeft's account being cancelled and then 
reinstated by PayPal...

Kevin Drum's post on PayPal...

PAYPAL BLUES....Proving that idiocy knows no ideological boundaries, 
PayPal has suspended the accounts of both the liberal Jeralyn Merritt 
and the conservative Bill Quick. Jeralyn's offense was apparently 
linking to a video of the beheading of Eugene Armstrong , while Bill's 
offense, Kafka-like, is left entirely to the imagination.

As James Joyner points out, the real problem here is that PayPal is a de 
facto monopoly for internet payments at the moment. What's more, when 
one of their clerks decides he doesn't like the content of someone's 
site, PayPal doesn't just revoke the offending account, they frequently 
also freeze it.

But PayPal is a bank (regardless of what they actually call themselves), 
and banks should be in the business of providing financial services as 
long as they're legal. They shouldn't be in the business of deciding 
what's appropriate speech and what isn't, especially when their 
guidelines are unclear and capriciously applied. Isn't it about time for 
someone to create a payment service that's a genuine payment service, 
not a thinly disguised website nanny? And isn't it about time for 
someone with more clout than a blog to expose this practice and give 
PayPal the bad publicity they so richly deserve? Maybe Dan Rather could 
do it to atone for his sins.

For more about this, go to the appropriately named PayPalSucks.com and 
read all about it (and more).
—Kevin Drum

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