PayPal is making it harder for anti-fascist and far-right groups to raise money online by canceling their accounts, The Verge reported Friday.
PayPal has banned Gavin McInnes, who founded a far-right group of self-described "western chauvinists," called the Proud Boys. The company also dumped accounts for Atlanta Antifa, Antifa Sacramento, and the Anti-Fascist Network, which organize often-aggressive confrontations against extremist groups and figures. The tech industry has been struggling with how to handle users who promote violence — this latest decision from PayPal was part of an attempt to limit extremist accounts from having a platform to spread their views, a tactic called "de-platforming."
The new bans are part of a long-running company effort. PayPal previously banned Tommy Robinson’s account, the leader of far-right English Defense League, as well as other antifa branches. PayPal also removed the account for Gab, the controversial social media platform, last month. "Striking the necessary balance between upholding free expression and open dialogue and protecting principles of tolerance, diversity and respect for all people is a challenge that many companies are grappling with today," a PayPal spokesperson told The Verge.
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PayPal is not the only tech company that has gotten on the “de-platforming” plan. Twitter removed McInnes' account over the summer and Facebook followed suit last month, Mashable reports. Other extremists have been removed as well, like conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who was removed from YouTube, Spotify, and Facebook.
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