by the Night Writer
On Sunday Powerline had a post about PayPal (an eBay company), the on-line money and commerce service, deciding that the popular conservative blog Atlas Shrugs was a hate site and subsequently informing it’s proprietor, Pamela Geller, that it was restricting her account last Friday. Atlas Shrugged isn’t on my list of sites I read regularly but I look in from time to time. Pamela even linked to me once back in the day. From what I’ve seen the site is dedicated to reporting on the violence and evil done in the name of Islam, but certainly hasn’t issued death threats, called for the execution or oppression of others or celebrated the actions of those who attack, shoot or blow-up people with different beliefs. Apparently, in PayPal’s eyes and in Powerline’s words, “truth is the new hate speech.”
Over the weekend, however, PayPal received a lot of calls, emails and forum commentary criticizing their decision. Monday afternoon Pamela was contacted by a PayPal executive who apologized for the mistake and lifted the restriction.
As many of you know, on Friday of last week, my paypal account was “restricted.” After a recent review of my account they said, “it has been determined” that I was “currently in violation of PayPal’s 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.”
I posted it over the weekend and received over a thousand letters of support, hundreds of ccs of paypal account cancellations…….. the people spoke. Love that.
And so today, about an hour ago, a very pleasant and rather deliberately clueless executive called me from paypal to say it was all a big misunderstanding and Atlas would be reinstated (and the subsequent restriction of SIOA and FDI removed also).
Pamela asked the exec why her blog was designated a “hate” site, by whom and on what basis. The exec didn’t know. Why were aggressive Muslim sites such as the one that called for the deaths of Comedy Central executives, or one selling DVDs of the radical imam Anwar al Awlaki still allowed to be PayPal vendors? Not sure. Other answers were conciliatory but not illuminating or encouraging in the event others are accused of the same thing in the future. As a result, Atlas Shrugged is not going back to PayPal, and has already joined an alternative service, GPal (motto: “friendly payments”) and already has the GPal button up in its sidebar.