PayPal Cancellation of UK Entity Could Be Test Run for US Conservative Groups A sign in front of PayPal headquarters in San Jose, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By Jay Clemons | Wednesday, 21 September 2022 04:32 PM EDT
PayPal's recent decision to cancel the account of the United Kingdom's Free Speech Union, an organization which fights for freedom-of-speech rights in Britain, could soon become the boilerplate rationale for canceling conservative voices and corporations in the United States.
One example from this week: PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo reportedly removed the accounts of conservative-leaning groups that allegedly have been critical of gay and transgender rights activists, including Gays Against Groomers.
Also, back in February, Minnesota Bank & Trust terminated its business relationship with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell — a noted conservative celebrity, with close ties to former President Donald Trump — after the financial institution reportedly characterized Lindell as a "reputation risk."
At the time, Lindell told Business Insider he had nine accounts with the bank and none were related to his main MyPillow business.
Lindell also noted that one account at MB&T was connected to his website Frank Speech and another was linked to the Lindell Recovery Network, a personalized platform for helping people overcome addiction issues.
Earlier this week, the Free Speech Union was reportedly told it had violated PayPal's "acceptable use policy."
However, when providing a statement to The Telegraph, a PayPal spokesperson reasoned the company was walking a line between "protecting the ideals of tolerance, diversity, and respect for people of all backgrounds and upholding the values of free expression and open dialogue."
Some could interpret PayPal's statement as censorship and/or punishment — in the form of demonetization — for companies that harbor opposing political viewpoints, compared to left-leaning governments.
GETTR serves as the alt-tech social media platform and microblogging site geared toward American conservatives. It also claims to be the world's fastest-growing free speech media platform — with 6 million users in 192 different countries, and more than 200 million livestream events.
Company CEO Jason Miller, the former senior adviser to the Trump White House, released a statement regarding PayPal's cancel-culture actions with the Free Speech Union.
"Those who decry cancel culture as a myth are clearly not paying attention. This is just the latest example of Big Tech's political overreach and shows why truly tolerant, free speech platforms like GETTR are so vital in defending free expression. We support the Free Speech Union in their new campaign lobbying for regulations to prevent companies like PayPal demonetising organizations and individuals."
According to a company item, GETTR will soon announce features that enable users and organizations, such as Free Speech Union, to monetize its services without the threat of political censorship or unfair bans.