Over the past several years, this country has witnessed a troubling pattern of big tech companies becoming increasingly authoritarian. Social media censorship is one prime example. Although it is just the starting point.
Earlier this month, PayPal updated its terms of service to state that anyone caught spreading “misinformation” is subject to having $2,500 withdrawn from their wallets.
This didn’t go over the way PayPal expected. Almost immediately, people started quickly canceling their accounts. Eventually, PayPal came out and said the notice about upcoming fines for “misinformation” was made in error. Yet, few people actually believe this.
It has since come out that the stunt PayPal pulled could lead to the company being under federal investigation.
Potential Legal Problems For PayPal
It turns out that PayPal’s notice of “misinformation” fines upset not just the general public, but also the Consumer Financial Protect Bureau (CFPB).
According to CFPB director Rohit Chopra, what PayPal announced is the first he’s ever heard of a payment company trying to pull off something like this.
PayPal $PYPL may face an investigation over its attempt to regulate the speech of customers. This is according to Rohit Chopra, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. pic.twitter.com/dRkeKOBdoj
— Barchart (@Barchart) October 17, 2022
Chopra then said a review into whether or not PayPal believes it can fine individuals for lawful activity is appropriate. At this time, it remains to be seen if the CFPB director does follow through with any investigation.
Despite Paypal walking back its “misinformation” announcement, many Americans stated they would turn to other digit wallets. Other folks warned that anyone who has their banking accounts linked to PayPal should remove them, just to be on the safe side.
The Case For an Investigation
There is a very real likelihood that PayPal blurred or crossed some legal lines when it threatened to fine account holders for speech.
If PayPal had actually gone through with this policy, rather than walking it back, the company would have been in violation of the First Amendment.
BREAKING: PayPal's stock is down another 3% this morning after a 6% loss yesterday.
Their market capitalization has fallen more than $9 billion since announcing on Friday they would take $2,500 from anyone spreading "misinformation."
Go woke, go broke.
— Michael Seifert (@realmichaelseif) October 11, 2022
A federal investigation would ensure PayPal is held accountable, in the event the company did overstep its legal bounds. On top of that, it would send a message to other companies that may consider similarly punitive actions against individuals for their speech.
Time and time again, what’s once deemed as “misinformation” is later proven to be accurate. If PayPal is able to skate by without at least being appropriately reviewed, then there’s truly no telling what may come next.