Co-founders Peter Thiel and Elon Musk of the “PayPal Mafia” have criticized the payments company for its “totalitarian” debunking practices.
The “PayPal Mafia,” formerly in charge of PayPal, has criticized the company for its recent debunking practices. One co-founder has called the freezing of cash “totalitarian,” while another has compared it to a Black Mirror scenario.
The payments technology firm has received criticism for its de-platforming methods, which purportedly involve an abrupt process of freezing funds, fines, and tense talks to unlock its customers’ accounts for various reasons, despite growing more crypto-friendly in recent years.
Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal in 1998 and led the firm as CEO from 1998 to 2002, asserted to The Free Press on December 14 that the company’s mission had dramatically evolved away from its original objective of granting people worldwide more control over their money.
According to Thiel, “if the online forms of your money are frozen, that’s hurting people economically and restricting their ability to exercise their political voice,” adding that:
It seems far more totalitarian to damage people’s economies, according to whatever.
Thiel is known as the “don” of the well-known “PayPal Mafia,” a collection of founders and former workers, including Elon Musk, who has since founded or worked at other significant digital companies.
David Sacks, a fellow PayPal Mafia member and the company’s first COO, has criticized PayPal’s deplatforming procedures in recent years.
In an interview with The Free Press, Sacks claimed that PayPal, now run by CEO Dan Schulman, is attempting to capitalize on the awakened culture movement by kicking out users with discordant opinions.
Sacks remarked, “The CEO [Schulman] has like every woke award you can earn,” adding:
“It’s a mutually beneficial connection; he advances woke capitalism’s corporate totem pole by implementing their objectives in return for rewards from them.”
A few of PayPal’s major platforming include the closure of the accounts linked to the Freedom Phone startup, which focuses on censorship-free journalism, the Consortium News news website, the Free Speech Union, and the lockdown skeptic blog The Daily Sceptic. These publications could have a political rightward tilt or, at the very least, alternative viewpoints.
In response to the article, Elon Musk, the current CEO of Twitter as well as the head of SpaceX and Tesla, claimed that the social media site had turned into something akin to an episode of the British television program Black Mirror, which typically depicts some sort of dystopian future in which technology controls society.
What the Hell Happened to PayPal?
The company that was meant to liberate countless individuals is becoming something else. Increasingly, it is becoming a police officer. It is deciding what is right and wrong, who gets to be heard, who is silenced. https://t.co/JQjFyVcovG
— The Free Press (@TheFP) December 13, 2022
Due to the network’s decentralization and resistance to censorship, crypto proponents have promoted the “Bitcoin cures this” narrative in light of the prospect of deplatforming for some users.
Banks can lock your accounts…
PayPal could fine you for misinformation…
Governments can print their way to hyperinflation, over-spend, and steal through taxation…
But no matter what, bitcoin will be here waiting to serve you. pic.twitter.com/0U2loosvYw
— Chris Dunn (@ChrisDunnTV) December 7, 2022
In October, PayPal also imposed controversial $2,500 fines for users who “promote misinformation” or disseminate content that poses threats to “user safety and wellness,” both of which were ambiguously defined.
The general public and prominent individuals, including PayPal Mafia members like Musk and former PayPal president David Marcus, strongly opposed the decision. Then, on October 11, PayPal retracted that rule, attributing it to a workplace error.
But other doubters think the rule has been covertly reinserted into the business’s user agreement and acceptable usage policy.