According to various reports, the online payment platform PayPal will no longer do business the conspiracy website InfoWars, saying that the site has a history promoting “hate and discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions,” which is a violation of PayPal’s acceptable use policy.
The company broke the news to InfoWars on Thursday, which the site characterized as a the result of a “lobbying” campaign from a “Soros-funded group.”
“The ban was handed down just weeks after George Soros-funded group Right Wing Watch published an article demanding that PayPal terminate its agreement with Infowars for “egregious violations of the platform’s own terms of service,” InfoWars’ Paul Joseph Watson wrote.
Infowars used PayPal to process transactions for its on-site store. According to The Verge, he site will have ten days to find a new payment system.
This latest development comes on the heels of a string of bad news for the site and its founder Alex Jones, who has a long history of disseminating conspiracy theories and fraudulent claims. Before PayPal’s decision, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, the iOS App Store, and others have banned Alex Jones and Infowars from their platforms.
PayPal’s decision was likely influenced by the reporting of Jared Holt of Right Wing Watch, who pointed out the site’s “highly publicized and egregious violations of [PayPal’s] own terms of service.” Speaking to The Verge, Holt said PayPal’s move was long overdue.
“Removing PayPal from the Infowars platform inhibits Jones’ ability to make money from his malice,” Holt said, “but it’s a bit odd it took so long given how egregiously Infowars violated the platform’s terms of service.”
In April, two lawsuits were filed by the parents of two children who were killed during the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December of 2012. The suits claim that Jones’ conspiracy mongering on his mega-platform InfoWars resulted in harassment and death threats carried out by his followers. Jones claimed the massacre was a false flag that was staged with “crisis actors.”
According to Nathaniel Popper of The New York Times, finding another payment system will be a challenge for the site.
“In other online domains, Infowars has been able to find new, if smaller companies willing to work with the site and host its content,” Popper said. “It is likely to be a lot harder to find another payment processor. Will Stripe or Worldpay step into the fray?”
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