PayPal “Misinformation” Fine Proves the Need for DeFi
Barely three weeks ago PayPal claimed that reports it would levy a $2,500 fine on users for spreading or promoting “misinformation” were incorrect. Hit with a hard backlash on social media, the company said that notice about the fine went out by mistake and included draft language not meant for the final version of the user agreement.
That “mistake” is now PayPal policy. The policy now reads, “In connection with your use of our websites, your PayPal account, the PayPal services, or in the course of your interactions with PayPal, other PayPal customers, or third parties, you must not…”
And one of two dozen user agreement violations listed is:
Provide false, inaccurate or misleading information;
The company can hold all of an account’s funds for up to six months, and a user is liable for a $2,500 fine for each violation.
If you are a seller and receive funds for transactions that violate the Acceptable Use Policy, then in addition to being subject to the above actions you will be liable to PayPal for the amount of PayPal’s damages caused by your violation of the Acceptable Use Policy. You acknowledge and agree that $2,500.00 U.S. dollars per violation of the Acceptable Use Policy is presently a reasonable minimum estimate of PayPal’s actual damages - including, but not limited to, internal administrative costs incurred by PayPal to monitor and track violations, damage to PayPal’s brand and reputation, and penalties imposed upon PayPal by its business partners resulting from a user’s violation - considering all currently existing circumstances, including the relationship of the sum to the range of harm to PayPal that reasonably could be anticipated because, due to the nature of the violations of the Acceptable Use Policy, actual damages would be impractical or extremely difficult to calculate. PayPal may deduct such damages directly from any existing balance in any PayPal account you control.
PayPal has a documented history of banning partisan political groups, ranging from those on the far right to anti-war activists. And given the partisan nature of political “fact checking,” the system is ripe for abuse.
Whether it’s PayPal, JPMorgan Chase, or any number of other gatekeeping offenders, traditional financial institutions exercise social control on a scale the Chinese could only imagine implementing.
People want to be able to buy and sell without a third party nosing in, looking over their shoulder, and dictating terms in a transaction to which they aren’t even a party. No matter what rationale they plead, if Big Finance can censor political and social speech you don’t have a free market or a free country.