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Representative Issa probes PayPal’s ‘misinformation policy’

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) calls on PayPal to provide answers on new wording in its user agreement, allegedly announced in “error”, fining accounts owned by people who “promote misinformation” – specifically asking whether the payment processing giant consulted with the Biden administration on the policy.

PayPal announced this week it would deduct $2,500 from users who violate its policy on ‘misinformation’, ‘hate’ or speech the company deems ‘unfit for publication’, but then quickly pivoted to reverse the trend following a backlash.

Rep. Issa has now sent a letter to PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, obtained exclusively by Breitbart News, requesting information about the move – which the congressman called a “policy that would undoubtedly censor the freedom of expression” – and asking if the company “[consulted] Where [inquired] with the Biden administration…regarding the necessity, drafting or implementation of this mis/disinformation policy.

Then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki revealed in July 2021 that the White House was coordinating with Facebook to censor what the government considered “misinformation” about COVID, telling the time they were “flagging problematic posts” to be removed from the public. speech – leading Issa to wonder if this behavior has extended to PayPal.

Issa asks PayPal how they intend to “judge the ambiguous term ‘misinformation,'” specifically asking if COVID misinformation would be included, along with gender pronouns.

Issa also told Breitbart that the move signaled a new frontier of censorship — not just hiding written messages, but controlling speech through financial penalties.

“The PayPal action is a new line in the sand: Big Tech is not just censoring speech, but imposing huge financial penalties to cripple people who don’t comply,” Issa said.

Read the full text of the letter:

Dear Mr Schulman

I am writing to express my deep concern and to seek responses regarding the numerous media reports that PayPal has surreptitiously added language to its User Policy that would undoubtedly censor free speech and penalize participants for broadcasting of what the company considers to be “misinformation”.

As reported by The Daily Wire, Fox Business and other outlets, PayPal has issued a Notice of Intent to update its “Acceptable Use Policy” which was to take effect November 3, 2022. Specifically , the update clarified to PayPal users that “You may not use the PayPal Service for any activity that…involves sending, posting or publishing any message, content or material that, in PayPal’s sole discretion … promotes misinformation.If found to have violated policy, your company has threatened not only to remove users from the platform, but also that $2,500 per violation will be deducted from their accounts.

Historically, PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy has not sought to control speech, but rather to prevent illegal activity on the platform, including the sale of narcotics, the trafficking of stolen goods, the promotion of schemes Ponzi and other criminal activities. For this reason, the public was rightly alarmed upon learning of the addition of the highly ambiguous “disinformation” provision. Sadly, however, millions of Americans today are very familiar with regular attempts by Big Tech and Big Government to censor and silence their free speech.

Following the report, your company reverted this policy update, explaining that it was added in “error” and that PayPal is still developing an updated policy. It has also become a common term of excuse when a technology platform targets and eliminates a user and a public outcry ensues. It is therefore of crucial importance that your company details the full extent of this “error”.

Given this concerning policy and PayPal’s intention to issue an upcoming user update, please answer the following questions no later than October 30, 2022.

1. Please detail which PayPal offices and/or departments have approved the updated Acceptable Use Policy which has been posted on the company’s website, with an expected implementation date of November 3 2022.

a. Please detail the offices, departments and officials that will approve the update currently in draft form.

2. Has PayPal, or any of its officials, consulted or inquired with the Biden administration, any of its employees, or recent former employees regarding the need, writing or implementing this mis/disinformation policy?

3. How does PayPal intend to judge the ambiguous term “misinformation”?

a. Would COVID misinformation have been covered by the policy?

b. Would the definition of “masculine” and “feminine” have been covered by the policy?

vs. What categories of “misinformation” did PayPal consider requiring censorship that were not already covered by the previous policy?

4. How many PayPal users did the company have before October 7, 2022 and how many users are currently on the platform? What is the average PayPal user account balance at any given time?

5. When can we expect a new policy?

6. Will the company engage in a fundamental business practice of fairness and will not sanction users who do not share certain political views.

Darrell Issa

Days after the policy was announced, PayPal claimed the policy was announced “in error” and contained “incorrect information”.

“An AUP notice was recently posted in error containing incorrect information,” PayPal said in a statement. “PayPal does not fine people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted into our policy. We are sorry for the confusion this has caused.

Former senior PayPal executives, including Elon Musk, David Sacks and David Marcus, spoke out on social media against the announcement.

markus called the “Madness” policy, to which Musk replied “Agreed.”

David Sacks warned“Get your money out of paypal right away.”

“The only ‘mistake’ made by PayPal was thinking that the American people would accept this abuse of power,” Rep. Issa told Breitbart. “Time and time again, conservatives and others are targeted and shot down by big tech companies who want to silence them. We are not allowing this to continue. »

Emma-Jo Morris is the political editor of Breitbart News. Email him at ejmorris@breitbart.com or follow her on Twitter.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

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