A group of parents who battled hard to keep schools open during Covid is the most recent vociferous group to have its PayPal account terminated.
UsForThem was’shocked’ to learn that it was unable to access thousands of pounds in donations after PayPal suspended its account ‘in accordance with’ the company’s user agreement.
The Telegraph revealed just last week that Elon Musk’s co-founded technology behemoth had controversially terminated the accounts of Toby Young’s Free Speech Union and his news website, the Daily Sceptic.
Musk, who received approximately $175.8 million from the sale of PayPal to eBay, has since attempted to acquire social media giant Twitter in an effort to encourage ‘free speech’
In the most recent reaction PayPal has received, however, members of parliament have pushed back, claiming that financial technology companies should not keep people out of their accounts based on “completely acceptable political opinions.”
At Business Questions, Conservative MP for Devizes Danny Kruger asked: ‘Does she share my deep concern about PayPal’s decision to cancel the accounts of certain organizations, including Us for Them, which campaigned against the Covid lockdowns, and, perhaps most ironically, the Free Speech Union, which appears to have been targeted because of their views on sex and gender?
Mr. Kruger stated that, as society moves toward a cashless economy, financial technology firms would become “critical infrastructure of everyday life.”
He continued, “Will the government take steps to ensure that individuals or organizations cannot be discriminated against on the basis of completely legal political views?”
Toby Young (pictured), the creator of the Free Speech Union and the Daily Sceptic news and opinion website, has also had his PayPal account terminated.
Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons, responded, ‘He may have more information than I do about why PayPal canceled the account and that facility for the organizations he mentions, but from what I understand, the Free Speech Union and other organizations are also in the dark as to why they have had these services removed despite making great efforts to find out.’
Ms. Mordaunt referred to the unexplained withdrawal of services by firms as a “recurring theme in our casework” for many members of parliament.
Arabella Skinner, the director of UsForThem, told MailOnline that the organization was “very stunned” to receive the email from PayPal.
“Given that it has taken the same punitive action against a number of prominent non-profit advocacy, campaigning, and journalistic groups in the UK, it gives the distinct impression that this was a politically motivated coup against campaigning groups that had taken a particular stance on contentious issues,” she said.
A successful democracy requires reasoned, two-sided debate, and there should be no tolerance for censorship by denial of service.
However, Ms. Skinner added that the organisation is ‘encouraged’ by the fact that MPs are speaking out on the subject.
The Elon Musk-cofounded financial technology firm purportedly terminated the accounts ‘in compliance with’ its user agreement.
Elon Musk (pictured), who earned millions from the sale of PayPal to eBay, has been attempting to acquire Twitter in an effort to encourage ‘free expression’
“However, we are glad to see MPs rallying to the cause,” she continued, “and we hope that this brings to the forefront the question of whether there is an urgent need to introduce enhanced safeguards to protect against economic sanctions against enterprises functioning totally properly.”
Molly Kingsley, co-founder of UsForThem, replied to PayPal’s closure of their account by stating that the group, which campaigns for children to be placed at the center of all decisions affecting them, was “taken aback” by the move.
“No prior notice or explanation was given, and despite their assurances that we may withdraw our remaining amount, we are unable to do so,” she told the Telegraph.
How PayPal helped Elon Musk amass his fortune
Elon Musk initially launched the online banking service X.com, which gained over 200,000 customers in its first few months of existence.
In 2000, X.com merged with Confinity, the owner of PayPal, and Musk was succeeded as CEO by the company’s founder, Peter Thiel.
X.com rebranded as PayPal, which was subsequently acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion.
Musk, who was the company’s largest stakeholder at the time, received $175.8 million from the sale. He would go on to co-found SpaceX in 2002 and become the dominant shareholder of Tesla Motors in 2004.
UsForThem has always been upfront about its goals, and our mission statement is prominently displayed on our website for all to see.
This clarifies that our primary objective is advocating for the prioritization of children in public decision-making.
After their little organization was severely affected, she pushed the internet financial behemoth to be more ‘transparent’
Mr. Young, the founder of both the Free Speech Union and the Daily Sceptic news blog, was informed last Thursday that three of his PayPal accounts would be terminated for violating a “acceptable use guideline.”
The Free Speech Union defends victims of lockdown, whereas the Daily Sceptic was founded in April 2020 to investigate lockdown.
PayPal did not explain which regulation the organizations had violated, but the policy has a long list of “prohibited activity,” such as transactions involving illegal substances, stolen items, or “the promotion of hate, violence, race or other forms of intolerance.”
Mr. Young initially received notification that his personal account was suspended.
The account had £600, and PayPal indicated that the funds would be held for up to 180 days. Mr Young used it to receive money from European magazines.
Minutes afterwards, PayPal sent the identical letter to both of Mr. Young’s organizations, the Daily Sceptic and the FSU.
PayPal stated that it would “sever ties” with account holders who violated its standards.
It continued, “It can be difficult to strike a balance between maintaining the ideas of tolerance, diversity, and respect for people of all backgrounds and upholding the values of free expression and open discourse, but we try our best.”
MailOnline has reached out to PayPal for comment on the recent account closures.