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.
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.
Twitter Posts Job Posting for Developing Paid Subscription Service; Will Platform Become Pay-to-Use?
Will it lead to the downfall of the platform?
Shares for Twitter’s stock surged more than 8% on Wednesday as the company posted an online job listing for a developer who would work on a new system designed as a pay-to-use platform.
The job listing advertises the opening for a project team termed “Gryphon.” The company describes the team as creating a “subscription platform” that “can be reused by other teams in the future.”
In a statement to CNN on the job listing, Twitter underplayed the announcement, stating that it was only a job listing, not a product announcement.
“We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.”
CEO Jack Dorsey has resisted shareholder demands to reorganize Twitter to prioritize profitability, most recently fending off a buyout attempt staged by oligarch Paul Singer challenging his leadership of the company. Dorsey kept his position of power over the company after reaching an agreement with profit-hungry shareholders, and the new development of paid subscription software could signal he intends to further satisfy them.
The company’s major investors will likely be pleased by any sign the company intends to convert its service into a pay-to-use model, evolving away from the tradition business model of micro-targeted ads towards its user base. However, a change to a subscription model could prove to be a threat to Twitter’s appeal, especially when newer free speech platforms are gunning for the platform’s user base and the company caves to the demands of censorious liberal journalists in suspending a variety of public figures deemed inconvenient to the neoliberal societal model.
Ultimately, the greed and thirst for power of the privileged elites of Silicon Valley could possibly bring about an end to their era of domination over online political speech, heralding a renaissance of the internet.
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