Friday, September 24, 2004

Paypal Censorship

Hmm. William Quick at Daily Pundit received a discouraging note from his Paypal account:

Dear William Quick,

We appreciate the fact that you chose PayPal to send and receive payments for your transactions.

However, your account has been limited for violating PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy regarding Offensive Material. The Policy prohibits the use of PayPal in the sale of items or in support of organizations that promote hate, violence, or racial intolerance; items which graphically portray violence or victims of violence; or items closely associated with individuals notorious for committing murderous acts within the last 100 years. Further, PayPal prohibits a person convicted of a violent felony, or his relatives or associates, from using PayPal to benefit financially from the convict's criminal notoriety. The complete Acceptable Use Policy addressing Offensive Material can be found at the following URL:

To appeal the limitation on your account, you will need to:

1. Remove those items from your website that violate PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy. For example, any link to images or videos of terrorsit executions; and

2. Submit the online Acceptable Use Policy affidavit. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive review or list of your Internet sites in violation. Furthermore, the violations of the Policy described above are not intended to be an all-inclusive list. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that all transactions comply with the Acceptable Use Policy.

For more information about the status of your account and for instructions on how to restore full use of your account, please log in to your PayPal account. We encourage you to login and restore full access as soon as possible. Should access to your account remain limited for an extended period of time, it may result in account closure. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. If you have any questions, please contact the PayPal Compliance Department at

Sincerely, PayPal Compliance Department PayPal, an eBay Company
Emphasis mine.

I can understand a policy that disallows advocating violence, but I fail to see how linking to videos of terroris executions qualifies. This sounds like the sort of zero tolerance nonsense that gets kids thrown out of kindergarten for drawing pictures of guns.

Bill comments:
What do you think? My initial inclination is to tell these little tin gods to take their attempts to dictate the nature of my content elsewhere.

My second is to wonder if anybody has any free legal advice.

My third is to give these would-be control freaks as much bad publicity as I can.

Anybody want to help me spread the word?

Consider it done.

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