PayPal is cancelling the accounts of far-right group the Proud Boys, as well as some antifa groups, according to new reports. The decision eliminates the groups’ abilities to raise funds and is considered a form of “de-platforming.” This isn’t the first time PayPal has removed accounts for certain groups or companies.
News of the cancelled accounts first surfaced via BuzzFeed journalist Blake Montgomery, who revealed in a tweet that PayPal would cancel the accounts for Proud Boys, the group’s founder Gavin McInnes, and well as Atlanta Antifa, Antifa Sacramento, and the Anti-Fascist Network.
The cancellations have since rolled out, with some groups responding to the business move. Atlanta Antifascists, for its part, has criticized the de-platforming and claimed that PayPal didn’t offer it an explanation about why it was included in the ban. “Our group completely rejects the “both sides” stance taken by PayPal,” the group said in a tweet.
In a statement to The Verge, a PayPal spokesperson said:
Striking the necessary balance between upholding free expression and open dialogue and protecting principles of tolerance, diversity and respect for all people is a challenge that many companies are grappling with today. We work hard to achieve the right balance and to ensure that our decisions are values-driven and not political. We carefully review accounts and take action as appropriate. We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.
This isn’t the first time PayPal has de-platformed a company. Back in September, the company banned Infowars from its platform, citing promotion of hate speech as its reason.