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PayPal Bans Big League Reporter After He Exposed Them Funding Illegal Immigration

The reporter was banned without explanation after reporting on PayPal’s morally ambiguous enforcement decisions.

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PayPal banned Big League Politics reporter Luke Rohlfing from its platform mere months after he exposed the online payment processor’s funding of an illegal immigration group that has provided services to those that encourage illegal immigration.

Rohlfing says he did not use his PayPal account to receive donations, receive payments, or otherwise conduct business as a reporter, but simply used it to expedite payments and increase security on various websites. Still, PayPal said in its email to Rohlfing notifying him of his account’s termination that the decision was based on his “activities” and relating to his “usage of PayPal services.”

The email also instructed him to remove all mention of PayPal as a payment processor from his website, even though Rohlfing has no website.

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Unsure how buying products from various websites and occasionally sending money to friends and family could constitute a violation of PayPal’s preferred behavior, Rohlfing attempted to contact PayPal to receive answers. In the chat logs, reviewed by Big League Politics, the PayPal representative claims she has no idea why his PayPal account may have been banned.

As Rohlfing continued to press her for information, the representative identified only as Elaine responded “For more details regarding the WHY [sic] of this action that PayPal took regarding your account, you may submit a subpoena to our corporate address.”

Rohlfing has already begun communicating with a lawyer, and says he plans to pursue legal action against PayPal.

This action comes only months after Rohlfing exposed PayPal for allowing an organization that openly encourages and provides material support to migrant caravans seeking to enter the United States illegally to use its platform.

Rohlfing reported for Big League Politics last year:

In the past month, President Donald Trump has been faced with the challenge of dealing with a caravan of illegal immigrants storming the border. The caravan, mostly coming from Central America, is being organized by a group called Pueblo Sin Fronteras, translated to “People Without Borders.”

While there is no surefire way to track the exact funding of the group, it clearly has support with at least good media coverage from media outlets with ties to George Soros. But it is clear who is facilitating the transactions from supporters, and that is PayPal.

Big League Politics informed PayPal about the group hosting a link to a PayPal account accepting donations to support the caravans.

PayPal promised to contact Rohlfing via email to discuss their decision to allow a group that advocates breaking the law to exist on its platform, but never did. Instead, Rohlfing was summarily banned from the payment processor months later.

Speaking to his compatriots at Big League Politics, Rohlfing explained that in his view, “PayPal is demonstrating yet again that they are left-wing authoritarians with an axe to grind,” expanding that, “First they banned users from purchasing legal firearms, and now they are shutting down anyone who reports news they don’t like.”

“Make Peter Thiel in charge of PayPal again,” Rohlfing concluded.

 

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Twitter Launches Crowdsourced Fact-Checking System Called “Birdwatch” to Fight “Misinformation”

Who saw this coming?

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Twitter has rolled out a new feature to fight what they consider to be “misinformation.”

The new feature, released Monday, is called Birdwatch. In a post on the Twitter Blog, Vice President of Product Keith Coleman writes that Birdwatch will allow people to identify information in tweets that “they believe is misleading” and to write notes “that provide informative context.”

We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable,” Coleman said.

As of now Birdwatch is a standalone site, though Twitter claims they will eventually make notes posted to Birdwatch directly visible on certain tweets.

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VP of Product Coleman continues: “In this first phase of the pilot, notes will only be visible on a separate Birdwatch site. On this site, pilot participants can also rate the helpfulness of notes added by other contributors. These notes are being intentionally kept separate from Twitter for now, while we build Birdwatch and gain confidence that it produces context people find helpful and appropriate. Additionally, notes will not have an effect on the way people see Tweets or our system recommendations.”

The format of Birdwatch will supposedly combine elements of Wikipedia and Reddit’s moderation tools, according to NBC News. Birdwatch users will be able to flag tweets from a dropdown menu on Twitter itself, but discussion about the flagged tweets will only be able to take place on the Birdwatch site. Birdwatch will also implement a rating system that will allow users to upvote or downvote the notes of others.

This is the logical development of Twitter’s commitment to identify and suppress content they deem “false” or “dangerous.” Keep an eye out for more such features in the future.

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