Free Speech Union Announces Plan to Fight PayPal Censorship

The Free Speech Union (FSU) recently announced that its fight with Paypal over censorship is still continuing. According to Didi Rankovic of Reclaim the Net, “the now ‘lengthy legal correspondence’ over the attempted demonetization of the FSU started last year when the incident took place. Through this legal action, the British free speech organization aims to discover why its account got abruptly suspended. 

In addition, PayPal failed to provide a “meaningful” explanation for this action or an adequate course such as an appeals process, according to the FSU, which casted doubt over PayPal’s “openness to all ” branding. Due to Paypal’s lack of transparency, FSU believes it has engaged in “a policy of non-engagement.”

FSU has not given up this “investigation,” after announcing that it is currently sending formal letters to the Financial Conduct Authority and the Competition and Markets Authority, where it has issued complaints about PayPal’s actions.

The FSU is of the view that PayPal’s move to prohibit, and subsequently ignore it, may actually be useful in the present due to how the government is actively reviewing the UK Payment Services Regulations.

That review highlighted that “as a minimum (and) without deviation, a notice-period and fair and open communication with a customer must apply in situations which relate to termination on grounds other than suspected or actual criminal offenses, or when otherwise allowed by law.”

Given what public observers have learned about the FSU’s legal challenge against PayPal, the payment processor will not be able to pass the fair and open communication standard — something that FSU will take advantage of in its legal struggle. 

On top of that, the FSU wants to strengthen its assertion of Paypal engaging in unfair (likely illegally) treatment by inviting individuals and organizations who have been subjected to deplatforming and financial censorship for their political views. The FSU is of the view that being able to cite these multiple instances of censorship will help make its case “as compelling as possible.”

Paypal and other payment processors engaging in censors must be reined in. Just because they’re private companies does not give them the right to engage in outright acts of political censorship. In the West, dissident groups are fighting an unconventional war against the establishment where both private and public means are used to suppress civil liberties. This will require a nationalist movement that’s willing to use state power to crush political and private actors who engage in this behavior.

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