In September, PayPal banned Infowars from using its service after concluding that the conspiracy website had promoted hate against certain communities and religious groups, an act that violates the service's acceptable use policy. Today, the payment processor has swung the ban hammer on yet another set of ideological groups.
PayPal has canceled the accounts associated with a far-right group called Proud Boys and its founder Gavin McInnes as well as other accounts used by a number of anti-fascist groups including Atlanta Antifa, Antifa Sacramento, and the Anti-Fascist Network. According to BuzzFeed News’s Blake Montgomery, citing a source with knowledge of the matter, PayPal also previously banned other anti-fascist groups including Antifa Philadelphia, Antifa Arkansas, Belfast Antifa, and Rose City Antifa between December 2017 and March 2018.
The terminations are part of PayPal's efforts to purge its platform of organizations and individuals that "promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory," the company said in a statement. Additionally, it noted that many companies are still struggling with free expression versus tolerance.
In a statement shared via Twitter, Atlanta Antifascists said it rejected PayPal's supposed "both sides" approach:
The Proud Boys group recently caught the media's attention after several of its members were arrested in connection to a violent fight in Manhattan with anti-fascist protestors following a speech from McInnes in New York City.