Paypal introduced a new policy allowing the company to fine users $2,500 for spreading “misinformation”. However, the company scrapped it after social media reactions.
The new policy has caused a big stir on social media. It implies that after November 3, anyone who posts or publishes information or content for the purpose of "promoting misinformation" will be subject to a $2,500 fine.
A new clause added to the restricted activity section of Paypal's user agreement states that people who post or publish hate speech or misinformation “may subject you to damages, including liquidated damages of $2,500.00 U.S. dollars per violation, which may be debited directly from your Paypal account.”
Users were supposed to be prohibited from “sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials” that “promote misinformation.”
After the news broke, a huge number of posts appeared on social media criticising Paypal's decision to introduce the new user agreement.
Canadian lawyer David Anber wrote:
Hey Paypal you have 30 days to explicitly renounce this abomination of a policy or I am permanently closing my account as will millions of others I am sure. Your subjective views on ‘misinformation’ or ‘discrimination’ don’t entitle you to your clients’ money.
What's more, the Paypal news caught the attention of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. When one person wrote that the news about new policy was “worrying” and “that’s why we need the X platform more than ever,” Musk responded “100%.”
A large number of people on social media pleaded with others to "close their Paypal accounts" and "boycott" the payment services company.
Following the violent reaction on social media, Paypal claimed that the new user policy had been issued in error. A Paypal spokesperson explained to National Review that the notice of the user policy, widely circulated on Twitter and in publications, was a mistake:
An AUP notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information. Paypal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy. Our teams are working to correct our policy pages. We’re sorry for the confusion this has caused.