Sunday, June 13, 2010

CRASH: PayPal Demands A Competitor

When a business commits serial stupidity, it is sending a message out to the market; "WE DEMAND COMPETITION".  PayPal is telling the world loud and clear that someone needs to fill the void between its corporate ears.

And, trust me, help is on the way.

Pamela Geller's Atlas Shrugs blog is strong medicine.  She is a take-no-prisoners blogger of the distinctly pro-Israeli, conservative, American exceptionalism stripe.  She, like a lot of bloggers and commentators, loathes Islamism, and will not back down from seeing and portraying it as an existential threat to Western civilization.  Which is what it is.

PayPal has a "Acceptable Use Policy":
Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive
payments for items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance or the
financial exploitation of a crime.
Geller generates some revenue for her extra-blogospheric work using PayPal (such as bus ads that were approved by the NY authorities).   Or, rather she did.  PayPal has weighed her in the balance, and found her wanting.  They've cut her off, citing their "Acceptable Use Policy".

Only looking at the terms PayPal publishes, that seems internally inconsistent.  Islamists are not a race.  I doubt very seriously that Ms. Geller would have the least degree of hate for any Islamist that forsook their jihad against the Enlightenment and the culture that sprang from it.  I think the opposite to be true, in fact.  I have not seen anything from Geller calling for violence, outside of support for our national policy.  I have never seen anything remotely suggesting she sought to financially exploit a crime.

There is, however, another area of inconsistency at work here; PayPal seems not to have much trouble "Acceptable Use"-wise with sites and individuals BESIDES Geller.  Many of these are pretty clearly sites that promote racial some cases, toward the Jews.  Some of them are strongly promoting violence.

That seems to leave us with Geller's opinions as "items", and the finding by PayPal that those opinions are "hate".  That is very thin ice on which to skate for a business.  PayPal is, of course, free to associate with whom it will.  When you publish a policy though, you limit your freedom voluntarily, and you may be held liable for what you do in violation of your published terms.  So, PayPal is a determine who it will serve.  Just as Hearst was free to use Hellin Thomas...or not.

But, as noted here in several posts here, all actions have consequences.  PayPal may be free to deal with Geller, according to its own terms, but we are also free to deal with PayPal or not.  There are people out there who can start another PayPal, or people who have one now.  This is a prime opportunity to exploit the PayPal opening.  They demand it.


  1. Maybe I should be outraged, but find my peve-o-meter barely registering here. I assume PayPal has the standard disclaimer that they reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, and are free to interpret their terms of use. Boycots generally have unintend consequences, if any at all, and Geller certainly has other options. I never use PayPal anyhow (don't trust their security) so I would be like Austin and LA. Sound and fury signifying nothing.

  2. I don't use Paypal because of their ridiculous policies and, when I did use them,found them unreliable and incompetent.
    I once got charged for an item that I didn't purchase.
    They contacted the supposed vendor and ended up pushing the payment through to them regardless of my protests. I never received whatever it was that I purchased.
    Paypal to this day send me emails reminding me that I owe them money. They can kiss my hiney.
    Pamela, go find someone else or just accept credit cards and online bank cheques.
    Boycott Paypal.

  3. Unlike many (most?) conservatives, I think the boycott is a splendid idea...totally democratic, and quite effective IF supported sufficiently AND legal in all respects (no Al Sharpton destruction and other such thuggery). Simple market economics, in my view.

    However, I'm not suggesting a boycott, unless just finding another vendor is a boycott. I call it the "law of substitution".

    I've actually had pretty good relations with PayPal, but this is enough. They can't be the only game in town, and if they are, it is time for another player.

    And no outrage here. More like "resolve".

  4. To All Truth Seekers:

    Sent $17.76 to Ms Geller via GPal.

    Will compose a formal complaint letter to PayPal, along with a close-account order.
    Which will effectively sever my purchases
    from eBay et al. This ignorant, hypocritical and cowardly behavior by PayPal will not be rewarded by my business - as someone else mentioned, "unitended consequences", or perhaps deserved blowback...

    On Watch
    "Let's Roll"

  5. wtw7:

    That's how it gets done...

  6. Ok, I just don't know how to boycot someone I wouldn't patronize anyhow. But all us little fingers together make a mighty fist. (Sitting Bull - I think) All for one and one for all! (Three Muskateers) Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. (Mahatma Gandhi) Damn, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines! (George C Scott)

  7. "Damn, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines!"

    Saw one of those on E-bay, but without a PayPal account, you'll have to await shipment until your check clears...

    Just make noise, Swede. Let your friends, neighbors, and family know about PayPal, and that will go miles.