Paypal and Venmo are the newest warriors in the culture war; they have just denied service to a number of organisations and individuals whom they have deemed “anti-trans” and also, conveniently, rightwing hate figures. The UK’s Free Speech Union has also been caught in the fall out as result of complaints by transactivists. The FSU is an organisation which defends gender-critical academics and people who have lost work for expressing opinions. FSU’s founder, Toby Young, says two other accounts linked to him have also been shut down.
Paypal’s statement :
“PayPal’s policy is not to allow our services to be used for activities that promote hate, violence, or discriminatory intolerance,” the spokesperson wrote. “We base our reviews of accounts on these parameters, taking action when we deem that individuals or organizations have violated this policy.”
Gays against Groomers is not a group I am familiar with but it is increasingly clear that the US media and tech companies have decided the use of the word ‘groomer’ itself is indicative of a rightwing hate agenda and worthy of the most severe social sanction. Gender critical feminist groups warning about child safeguarding lapses have been denied access to payment services as well as crowdfunding sites for years now. It is now the turn of bigger groups like Libs Of TikTok and the FSU to be frozen out of discourse as well.
The Advocate applauds this decision and suggests that it doesn’t go far enough and names the payment services that still provide support to the deplorables. Please note the the Advocate, Twitter and Paypal use a transactivist as the gatekeeper. It is very reminiscent of the way Reddit used trans moderators (who did turn out to have links to child abusers) to turf out the terfs. The Advocate’s activist darkly warns of the power of rightwing forces of evil:
“They have very powerful allies in the media and government that are helping prop them up.”
The Telegraph has a more balanced report.
Mr Young said: “If PayPal had shut down just one of these accounts it’s conceivable it could be because it had violated the company’s Acceptable Use Policy. But it closed all three accounts within minutes of each other, suggesting there’s a more sinister reason.“I suspect it’s because in reality PayPal doesn’t value free expression and open dialogue or the people and organisations that stand up for those principles.”He said he suspected the closure of the Free Speech Union’s account could have been a response to complaints from trans rights activists.