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In celebration of my birthday on February 5, 2023, I am running a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:

 

1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.

 

2. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.
 

3. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.
 

4. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:


5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
 
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Paypal losing customers at an alarming rate, even as it blacklists Hong Kong pro-democracy group

Paypal: hostile to freedom

In the past few days there have been some unconfirmed Twitter posts claiming Paypal has reinstated its proposed policy to confiscate $2,500 from any account that spreads “misinformation.”

These reports are not quite accurate. Paypal leaves itself the option to confiscate money from customers, but it has not directly reinstated its policy of doing so for spreading “misinformation.” Instead it makes that justification harder to find and difficult to pin down, though it apparently still exists.

While Paypal’s current Acceptable Use Policy contains no mention of “misinformation,” its user agreement essentially does—and has since at least February 12, 2022. The agreement reads that PayPal users may not “provide false, inaccurate or misleading information,” in connection with PayPal, its website, services, or “third parties.” Those who do so may see their accounts suspended, limited, or closed, and PayPal may take legal action.

In short, no surprise changes have been made to PayPal’s policy this week. While the company does levy punishments toward users for certain forms of “misleading statements” under its user agreement (and has for months), a $2,500 fine is not explicitly one of them.

And yet, should anyone trust Paypal with their savings? Its reputation for blacklisting conservatives and pro-liberty organizations says otherwise, and that reputation was confirmed last month when Paypal terminated without explanation the account of a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong.

The League of Social Democrats says that PayPal, a multinational financial technology company headquartered in California and Nebraska, sent an email stating it can no longer provide its services to the activist group. The group said PayPal Hong Kong Limited had sent an email on Sept. 19 about the termination and that it hasn’t been able to accept any new donations since.

The text of PayPal’s email sent to the League of Social Democrats in September has been seen by VOA. It outlines the termination and says the decision is “final.”

“Unfortunately, upon review of your account we have determined there to be excessive risks involved. Therefore, we will no longer be able to provide our services to you. While we wish you the best of success in your future business endeavors, we respectfully ask that you seek another payment solution to process transactions on your behalf,” part of the email read.

Though it has not been confirmed, it sure looks like PayPal took orders from China’s communist government that has been cracking down on freedom in Hong Kong, and cut this organization off.

It also now appears that Paypal’s decision to go fascist last month has quickly cost it significant business. Though I base this conclusion solely on anecdotal evidence, that evidence seems quite convincing.

Since the story broke in early October that Paypal was considering imposing that $2,500 fine, my website “Behind the Black” has lost about 10% of its monthly Paypal subscribers. About half of those subscribers continued their subscriptions with other services (Zelle and Patreon), and told me directly they were were not canceling me but Paypal because of its censorship policies. I also suspect that most of the other half were also doing so because of Paypal and not me, because during this same time period my overall subscriber base (using Paypal, Zelle, and Patreon) remained mostly stable, and donations continued to rise.

I am small potatoes, but I suspect these numbers are reflected across Paypal’s entire customer base. If the company has lost 10% of its business in just the last few weeks because of these censorship policies, it has been hit very hard.

More importantly, the decision by so many customers to so quickly bail out of Paypal because of its anti-free speech policies means Americans are finally coming to grips with the jack-booted leftist thugs that have been infltrating our society for years at all levels, without any opposition. Americans apparently are no longer willing to live and let live, while the other side has been acting aggressively to prevent their opponents from living at all.

Rick, stating the truth in Casablanca
Americans are no longer asleep.

Americans are finally fighting back, and their effort is having an impact. Paypal cannot survive if it loses 10% of its customer base every two weeks. The company is apparently at risk of dying, and if it does it will do so solely by its own hand.

Meanwhile, I celebrate the decision of my subscribers to cancel Paypal, even if it means my own income will drop slightly. Until this company changes its policy, it is preferably to me that all my Paypal subscribers switch to other services.

Such action will not only force Paypal to change. There is no doubt other big tech companies are paying attention. If Paypal is demonstrably hurt by these policies, companies like Amazon and Google and Facebook and Twitter will have no choice but to take note. They themselves will be forced to change, if only to avoid a similar fate.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

20 comments

  • t-dub

    It’s my understanding that the “new” $2,500 fine is for “sellers” that break the rules by offering firearms, porn, illicit drugs and other items against their user agreement. I use PP as a clearing house to sometimes buy things I want when it’s convenient, but keep no funds in it, no linked bank account, just a credit card which has it’s own protections. Storing $$$ in Pay Pal, or directly linking a checking account, is unwise. Should Gab Pay or another service become as widely accepted I will gladly change but some purchases, especially online ones through a phone, sometimes require PP.

  • bill

    Go woke, go broke; pal

  • As they say on the hardwood: “Ball don’t lie.”

  • John

    Let ’em die.

    Let them find out you brought or sold a rifle stock, trigger, or pistol grip and see what happens.

    Conservatives should have canceled them a long time ago.

  • David Eastman

    I’d love to know what the lawyers who tell them this will fly really thought. I’d imagine it must have been something along the lines of “the people we’ll enforce this against won’t be able to challenge us effectively in court, and I’ll get paid either way.” Imagine if a restaurant or any other business tried saying “you, as our customer, are subject to all of our policies, and if you, in our sole opinion, violate them we will just bill you another $2,500.” They’d never collect, and you might put them out of business if they tried.

  • wayne

    V for Vendetta
    “The Dominoes Fall”
    https://youtu.be/yde6t4WG5uY?t=141

  • Sailorcurt

    What’s amazing to me that it’s taken this long for so many Paypal users to realize that they’re doing business with a totalitarian company that hates them and their worldview.

    Why people would continue to support a business like that is beyond me. I suppose its because convenience is more important to them than principles…which doesn’t say much for their character.

  • Edward

    I really don’t know what Pay Pal expected. The last I heard, the average income for Americans is $50,000, and PP is threatening to confiscate 5% of that amount. That is a lot of money to most people, and risking that PP will arbitrarily deem something said is finable has heavy consequences. I think most people are not prepared for such a gamble. Whatever happened to free speech in America? The whole idea was for We the People to be free to express grievances against those in power, such as the companies that we do business with. If we cannot complain about the service, how are they to know that we are dissatisfied and want improved service?

    It looks like a lot of people are waking up and realizing that “it can’t happen to me” is just a fantasy, and that it could happen, even here in America. This country has changed during the course of this century, and not for the better. In 2005, for example, would any company have thought that they could do this? Answer: one of the car rental companies tried it in the 1990s for people driving faster than the speed limit, but the courts shut them down on the first court case.

    I suspect that people who are too heavily tied to PP are the ones who are staying with their service, but an undeserved $2,500 “fine” is high for a “cost of doing business.”

    Welcome to Obama’s fundamentally transformed America, land of the formerly free.

  • Sailorcurt noted “I suppose its because convenience is more important to them than principles…which doesn’t say much for their character.”

    Cast your mind back to the past three years. If you wanted to do business locally, a lot more convenient to wear a mask, wasn’t it? Not many defied the Mandate, because it’s easier to go along to get along. No outcry about the assault on individual liberty and dignity, because it was inconvenient.

    When The People find that convenience trumps principle, a society is done as an ideal.

  • Cotour

    Related:

    AMERICA IDENTIFIES THE SYMBOLS OF ITS PROBLEMS: DEMOCRATS
    (Please copy and share)

    Both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are as I have correctly been pointing out now for several years not leaders but are empty facades for their political masters and betters, the radical Obama lead “Progressive” Democrat party machine masterminds that seek to “Fundamentally transform America”.

    And all America can now clearly see the results of these efforts with the rampant crime, gang shootings, the insane and drug addled living and crapping on the streets, inflation, high cost of energy, destabilizing sexual perversion and anti-American theories and indoctrination, racism and hatred, you will comply with government mandates being taught in schools.

    And the entire world having no respect for and serious doubts about what exactly America now represents. And it all squarely sits upon the Democrat party machines leaderships shoulders. Well done, Democrats!

    Obama rally for Fetterman, one more obedient empty facade: “EF Joe Biden!” :https://youtu.be/M4BlKGaEQGg 45 sec.

    Sky News Australia: America today: https://youtu.be/rNU8Ypk2hAI 1:38 min.

    And the Democrat party is about to pay a very heavy political price for their deceit and desperate corruption in an attempt to retain and further acquire political power and control. The Democrats treasonous attempts to “Transform America” as per former president Obama into a Constitutionally hollow shell filled with the American people living in fear of their government and their Communistic use of the DOJ and the FBI as political weapons and enforcers for their agenda.

    Treasonous all because they have systematically weakened the country both domestically, economically and militarily and have actively pandered to and sold out to the enemies of America in a broad spectrum of ways.

    A very big and well deserved *NO THANK YOU* is coming on November 8th. (It’s going to be massive IMO)

    You are a Democrat? You vote Democrat? Not this year.

    The three persons below are essentially enemy operatives within our government and not leaders.

    https://apis.mail.aol.com/ws/v3/mailboxes/@.id==VjN-_95qz8vtNQnj2guvJpSi615JXjYizy9bcZuM2MCqJDk8zBIwKj0CmLH_qmCDE5NsTJVJXmOu9vG5vVhaOWavzw/messages/@.id==ACa2VTEJdAMnY16T0QGOcIzslAM/content/parts/@.id==2/thumbnail?appid=AolMailNorrin&downloadWhenThumbnailFails=true&pid=2

  • Jonathan

    The details of the $2500 fine don’t matter anymore. A smart company would have front-run this story and created a campaign to exclaim that it would never capriciously fine any customer for any amount. Instead, you have PayPal dithering and dodging, making statements that are neither clear, nor helpful. This is a text-book case on how NOT to run a successful company. Those who called for PayPal to fail in this decade were prescient, probably even more than they imagined.

  • Richard DP

    Excellent news!

    I did my part, cancelling a dormant paypal account soon after the news broke. Hoping for an alternate payment processor to gain traction.

    There are a bunch of zombie companies like Uber, Lyft, Wayfair, etc. out there. They cannot turn a profit, and investors are turning against them. They cannot survive higher interest rates. In six months, they will be bleeding cash and market share.

    They don’t like patriots. When the time comes, let’s boycott them and push them into bankruptcy.

  • MarkInKansas

    I eagerly await the payment and money services that I expect Elon Musk will offer with his newly reconfigured platform, Twitter.

  • Robert Scrape

    The specifics of the reported $2,500 penalty — who and what it applies to — don’t matter as much as the fact that PayPal has asserted that it has the right to seize a sizable chunk of users’ funds because it doesn’t like those users’ beliefs or activities. What person, of ANY political stripe, is going to feel comfortable entrusting funds to a financial institution that claims the right to ransom your money if it doesn’t like you?

    Didn’t something similar happen during the trucker’s stripe in Canada? IIRC, the government was going to start seizing money from the bank accounts of people suspected of involvement in that protest. Almost immediately, there was a run on the banks, so the government had to reverse course. Lesson: faith in financial institutions is precious, so don’t squander it.

  • The Last Optimist

    Cancelled my PayPal account when the news first broke. My problem is that neither of my credit unions support most of the alternate money transfer services. I could add my debit card to a digital wallet for tap to pay, but sending money to a friend or family member? Right now I would need to mail them a check.

    Their reluctance to adopt other payment platforms stems from the lack of auditing and system controls to ensure the person paying authorized the transaction. I had two different Zelle accounts pull money from the checking account at my credit union without authorization. They stated they experience dozens of those events weekly.

  • Johnny Lanctot

    It took some effort, but I finally got my PayPal account closed. I used it because I bought and sold items on eBay. I had been a customer with PP since 2001 and with eBay even longer. EBay was going south as well and I was using them less and less. I buying fewer items and plan on just donating the things I would have sold in the past. Life will be less complicated and I can well afford to do so.

  • Alex

    According to rumors, many of the people who cancelled their accounts had a small cash balance. Basically, this is the equivalent of a ‘run’ on a bank and has impacted the company’s liquidity. The company will report earnings this week, and we should get a glimpse of the impact of this debacle.

  • Liz

    I managed to cancel my account a couple hours before the new policy kicked in.

  • Leroy Brown

    I too cancelled my account with PayPal, years ago.

    Finding an alternative can be a chore but I would urge your readers to do their own research on potential peer to peer banking services companies. As an example, I learned that Venmo, (a recommended alternative), is in fact owned by PayPal. I guess I will not be using them even though friends and family members like them. I will not use a company I don’t research first.

    Zelle, which was mentioned in this article, is owned by a number of different banks like Chase, Capitol One, JP Morgan, US Bank, Wells Fargo and some other smaller banks. This raises a red flag with me as these are the banks that took Federal Bail Out Money to bolster their bottom line, not to help their customers. Remember the phrase “To Big To Fail”? Yep, that’s them….

    Patreon, also mentioned in this article, is more of a subscription service geared to the Artsy, Fartsy Liberals. Look at their track record, they have been banning Conservatives since 2014. This POS outfit was started in 2013 so they didn’t waste any time. Patreon is not free either, you have to pay for their service.

    On a personal note, if I have to send money Peer to Peer, the receiver of my cash will have to wait on the US Postal Service and accept a hand written check. If not well then I will take my business elsewhere.

    Bottom line here folks, do your own research, know who you are dealing with, it takes mere moments to find out who is who.

  • Paul Lewis

    The fact that BLACKROCK Investments owns them should be enough NOT to do business with Paypal. I closed a 24 year old account with them last month. They are under attack by hackers and it was affecting me. Their 2-step verification is worthless and can be bypassed. I don’t trust them now after Blackrock become an owner. You shouldn’t either.

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