PayPal reversed its decision to fine users $2,500 for violating its terms of service after Elon Musk and a former executive led a furious backlash against the move on social media.
In a tweet Saturday, former PayPal President David Marcus spoke out against a new policy, first reported by The Daily Wire, that would apparently allow the digital payment processor to charge users $2,500 for posting materials that “promote misinformation” or “present a risk to user safety or wellbeing.”
Elon Musk, a co-founder of PayPal, said he agreed with Marcus’ criticism, joining a number of others who have spoken out against the new policy.
“It’s hard for me to openly criticize a company I used to love and gave so much to,” Marcus wrote on Twitter. “But @PayPal’s new AUP goes against everything I believe in. A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity.”
“Agreed,” Musk wrote in reply to Marcus.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 8, 2022
The criticism from Marcus and Musk, who was on the board of directors and briefly CEO of PayPal during its early days, were at the front of a fury of backlash to the proposed policy.
“Get your money out of [PayPal] right now,” venture capitalist David Sacks tweeted.
“Seriously, close your PayPal account immediately if they don’t reverse this today,” replied Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip.
“Why would anyone use @PayPal ever again?” conservative commentator John Cardillo wrote. “They’ve flat out told you they’re going to steal your money if you disagree with the regime.”
“The ‘misinformation’ police are now extending their reach beyond your social media accounts and into your financial accounts,” author and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy wrote.
“PayPal probably isn’t protected by Section 230, so it could face legal liability in states with political nondiscrimination statutes,” Ramaswamy added later. “It’s an easier case to make than against a social media platform.”
“Orwellian. Paypal reserves the right to take your money if you post a message that Paypal decides is ‘misinformation,’” former FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said. “This is why it is so vital that state and federal legislatures pass laws that prohibit discrimination by tech companies and protect free speech.”
“’PayPal mafia’ was supposed to be an endearing reference to the company’s alum—not a business plan,” Carr added.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) hinted at congressional action in a reply to The Daily Wire’s report. “PayPal is censoring speech,” Blackburn wrote. “If you don’t listen, they will steal your money. We cannot allow this to happen.”
Arizona Republican Senate Candidate Blake Masters also hinted that he would take action against PayPal if he is elected. “I will be putting a stop to this soon,” Masters tweeted.
Podcaster and Locals.com creator Dave Rubin also hinted at a fix of his own. “Coming soon. We are working on solutions…” Rubin wrote in a Twitter thread.
The backlash prompted PayPal to walked back the new policy. “An AUP notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information,” the company said in a statement, obtained by National Review reporter Caroline Downey. “PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy. Our teams are working to correct our policy pages.”
🚨FROM PAYPAL SPOX:
“An AUP notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information. PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy. Our teams are working to correct our policy pages.”
— Caroline Downey (@carolinedowney_) October 8, 2022