Payment processing giant PayPal terminated accounts belonging to the far-right Proud Boys organization and its founder, Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, this week in what seemed to be a response to their involvement in a street brawl in New York and well-documented history of violence elsewhere. But it also banned a number of anti-fascist groups across the country, including Antifa Atlanta, Antifa Sacramento, and the Anti-Fascist Network. The company has declined to comment on why aside from citations of its TOS and vague comparisons between antifa and others it has banned, like far-right activist Tommy Robinson. As the Daily Beast noted, a statement from PayPal appeared to describe the anti-fascist groups in “the same terms” as the Proud Boys, citing provisions of its terms of service banning hate groups and promotion of violence: “Striking the necessary balance between upholding free expression and open dialogue and protecting principles of tolerance, diversity and respect for all people is a challenge that many companies are grappling with today,” the company told The Daily Beast. “We work hard to achieve the right balance and to ensure that our decisions are values-driven and not political. We carefully review accounts and take action as appropriate. We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.” In a statement to Gizmodo, PayPal director of corporate communications Justin Higgs said the company would not discuss the accounts in question, though added the decision was based on “extensive… [Read full story]
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