Rights and anti-bigotry groups in social media have been reporting accounts associated with white supremacists and hate groups, saying that these individuals and organizations are using PayPal in order to collect donation to fund their extremist propaganda.
PayPal, a popular online money transfer service provider, is being weaponized and used by hate groups to gather donations for their extremism, according to rights activists. The fact came after PayPal has recently suspended an account associated with the Ku Klux Klan following a report made by an anti-bigotry group on Twitter.
The financial service company suspended the account that is promoted in social media by The Loyal White Knights, a group that aims to raise money to be used by the propaganda campaign related to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The organization is using PayPal to raise funds that will be used by the KKK to print newsletters, organize rallies, among others.
Following a report made by Nandini Jammi, an anti-bigotry advocate affiliated with the social media rights group Sleeping Giants, PayPal made the decision to suspend the said account on Friday.
“Oh cool you can donate to the KKK with @PayPal,” Jammi tweeted on Aug. 24. “@AskPayPal can you explain this?”
After the report made by Jammi on Twitter, PayPal disabled the account’s capability to receive money, and the page where their PayPal link would redirect now says “currently unable to receive money,” BBC reports.
However, Jammi is not yet through with her campaign of disabling hate groups from receiving donations and funds through the money-transfer platform. In a series of Tweets, the advocate has been calling out different hate groups and personalities and tagging PayPal, saying that they should not be able to transact on the platform to fund their hate causes.
The advocate is also enlisting the help of Twitter users to forward her cause and to elevate her concerns to the top management of Paypal. “Wanna help? Please help me follow up w/ my contacts at PayPal. It’s their job to keep white nationalists off PayPal,” she wrote.
Jammi said that she has been flagging different white supremacist accounts on Paypal as early as April 2019. In one instance, the advocate said that she has been reporting Stefan Molyneaux, an alleged white nationalist, to PayPal for using the platform to spread heat. She said that Molyneaux is using different platforms to spread his bigoted propaganda and monetizes them through the financial transfer platform.
The advocate pointed out that Molyneaux has been monetizing his audience in promoting “population replacement,” “scientific racism,” and “white genocide” via the financial service platform.
“Stefan Molyneaux peddles white nationalism for a living on YouTube, Twitter & podcast. He monetizes his presence directly through PayPal.” she wrote on Twitter. “I have been flagging Stefan Molyneaux with PayPal since April 2019. Followed up in June and again today.”
In a separate Tweet, the advocate also called out PayPal for not taking actions on account of Molyneaux saying that they only responded when KKK came into the picture and not when white supremacists are in question.
As part of their policy, the online financial company says that they could not comment regarding the suspension of the KKK-linked account, PayPal said in a statement. There is no reference made by the company that relates to Molyneaux’s account.
“Due to our legal and data protection obligations, we cannot comment on any specific PayPal customer’s account,” the statement read. “We carefully review accounts to ensure our services are used in line with our acceptable use policy and take action as appropriate.”
PayPal’s acceptable use policy, which was updated following the Charlottesville incident in 2017, includes a clause that prohibits the use of the platform for promotion of hate and other forms of violence and discrimination.
“You may not use the PayPal service for activities that…relate to transactions involving… the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that are discriminatory or the financial exploitation of a crime,” reads PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy.