The hard left’s censorship regime persists in its quest to limit non-leftist opinions as much as possible. Payment-processing company PayPal recently announced it was joining forces with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) ostensibly to fight racism, hate, and extremism.
As can be expected, conservatives are criticizing the company for appearing to cave to the woke crowd. When Big Tech companies use words like “hate,” conservatives tend to hear “anything that runs counter to the progressive narrative.” But is it possible that the company might just be trying to walk the political tightrope?
PayPal Teams With the ADL
Last week, PayPal and ADL went public with their alliance. The Washington Examiner reported:
“The initiative will focus on researching and then disrupting the financial pipelines that support extremist and hate movements by not allowing those individuals and organizations to use PayPal to make and receive payments.”
They will also gather information on individuals and groups believed to be spreading hate. This data “will be shared broadly across the financial industry and with policymakers and law enforcement.” This could potentially result in more punishment for these entities.
Conservative commentator and entrepreneur Dan Bongino told The Examiner he believes this move is merely a way for PayPal to ingratiate itself to the left. “It’s essentially a signaling mechanism to all the woketarians out there — it’s a fist bump for other woke people. They just want to signal how great and virtuous they are,” he said.
He added: “But this will end up hurting anyone who is conservative, libertarian, nonliberal, anyone who doesn’t toe the company line.” The commentator also pointed out that this collaboration could negatively affect the company as it might alienate half of the country.
PayPal told The Examiner it does not plan to alter its operations “in any way.” A spokesman insisted, “PayPal’s long-standing policy is not to allow our services to be used for activities that promote hate, violence, or racial intolerance,” adding “[w]e base our reviews of accounts on these parameters, taking action when we deem that individuals or organizations have violated this policy.”
Deleting certain accounts for promoting bigotry will not be a new practice for PayPal, which removed between ten and 100 accounts each month, according to remarks made by CEO Dan Schulman in 2019. He noted that the company has taken advice from the right and left in identifying problematic accounts.
Will This Be an Issue?
Is it possible PayPal will target only entities legitimately spreading hateful and dangerous content? Sure. Because neither the company nor the ADL has provided the criteria to be used to decide what constitutes being a “hate group,” people on the right might be concerned. Indeed, the fact the hard left routinely labels opposing views as “hateful,” even if they do not reflect bigoted sentiments, is justification enough to give a conservative pause.
Dan Gainor, a vice president at the Media Research Center, a right-leaning media watchdog, told The Examiner: “It’s like 1984, except the 2021 version is outsourced to private companies. Modern technology is much more advanced than Orwell would have possibly imagined.” He continued: “We’re on a scary path of suppression given how many millions rely on PayPal for payments. So many organizations and freelancers could be affected.”
Still, the fact PayPal could alienate half of its customer base by pushing this censorship as far as the far left would prefer cannot be lost on its leadership. The company is driven by profit and probably wouldn’t willingly give up such a large customer base simply to appease the left.
Does PayPal wish to have its cake and eat it, too? Allying with the ADL signals to the left that the company takes hate groups and bigotry seriously. In this way, it seeks to avoid the consternation of the progressive Sanhedrin and the threat of cancellation. On the other hand, it likely knows it can’t push too hard without sacrificing profit. So, the company is performing a tightrope act worthy of Barnum and Bailey. The question is, will it be able to wink at the wokies long enough to avoid a crybully cancellation campaign?
Read more from Jeff Charles.