PayPal lost more than 5% of its value on Monday following widespread reports on social media on the payment processing company’s effort to fine any of its users $2,500 for spreading “misinformation,” a judgment that is at the “sole discretion” of PayPal, per its acceptable use policy (AUP).
The AUP, which is slated to go live next month, garnered a massive backlash from across the political spectrum, with PayPal founder Elon Musk and co-founding PayPal COO David Sacks slamming the company for its decision to police speech.
“Get your money out of paypal right now,” wrote Sacks on Twitter.
“It’s hard for me to openly criticize a company I used to love and gave so much to. But [PayPal’s’] new AUP goes against everything I believe in. A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity,” wrote former PayPal President David Marcus.
The financial services company has previously de-platformed users for their views, including organizations and political pundits. The list of banned users includes Rebel News, and this reporter.
PayPal does not provide details of its decision to ban its users and potentially confiscate any money still on the platform, citing its security policy, leading many to question what they might have done to breach its rules, which the platform changes whenever it sees fit.
The updated policy, which was set to go live in November, banned the promotion of “misinformation” and the “hate, violence, racial, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”
PayPal walked back the policy following the backlash, claiming that the guidelines were pushed out “in error,” and said sorry “for the confusion this has caused.”
It is unlikely that the policy was pushed out in advance as a draft without being pored over by a legal team and higher-ups at the company who had to sign off on what might be described as the most important document any payment services provider offers its users.
PayPal’s users aren’t buying the excuse, and countless numbers of users posted their decision online to terminate their accounts on the platform.
The backlash has resulted in a nearly $6 billion drop in the company’s stock value, which closed at $90.18 on Friday and opened at $85.40 on Monday. The figure represents a 5.3% decline in the company stock value, and did not trade in line with the Dow Jones Industrial Average trends, or Nasdaq, which only fell by 0.7% since Friday, Daily Wire reported.
Users voiced their apprehension and anger at PayPal for their policy, which would have held users liable for “damages,” which includes fining users for $2,500 per offense at the “sole discretion” of the company.
The business does not clearly define in any of its documents definitions for terms like “racial,” “violence,” or “intolerance that is discriminatory.” It does not explain what information is deemed “misinformation” or who defines it as such.
Members of Congress have hinted at congressional action against PayPal for its decision to censor and police speech. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) declared “PayPal is censoring speech. If you don’t listen, they will steal your money. We cannot allow this to happen.”
Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters openly stated “I will be putting a stop to this soon,” suggesting that if he is elected to Congress this November, hitting PayPal will be at the top of his list.
Popular conservative host and Locals.com creator Dave Rubin suggested that he intends to provide a solution for PayPal, hinting at the development of his own payment processor.