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Paypal have shut down the account of the Free Speech Union

“PayPal shut down the accounts of the Free Speech Union, its founder the journalist Toby Young and a news website he created after alleged Covid-19 vaccine misinformation”, the Times reports:

Recent tweets by Young appear to question links between excess deaths and the Covid-19 jab, despite no evidence of a link between the two. The Daily Sceptic, of which he is editor-in-chief, also publishes articles on the topic. In 2021 Young was rebuked by Ipso, the press regulator, over a “significantly misleading” column that claimed the common cold could provide “natural immunity” to Covid and London was “probably approaching herd immunity”.

However, he insisted he was not anti-vaccine: “I believe the risks of the mRNA vaccines outweigh the benefits for those under 65 and without any medical conditions. We have repeatedly made it clear in The Daily Sceptic that while we have reservations about the efficacy and safety of the mRNA vaccines we do not take a position on whether people should take them or not but encourage them to do their own risk assessments.”

For the record, I have had all the Covid vaccinations, and plan to have the booster. But if Big Tech wanted to spread doubt about the safety of Covid vaccines there would be no better way to do it than what they are doing now. The purpose of this is obviously to censor. Like all types of lying, censorship can often work well for the liar at first, but once people know that censorship is occurring, they start to doubt every subsequent statement from a censored source. Every line is read through a lens stamped with the words “What else are they hiding?” In this case, “Are they hiding reports of adverse reactions? Do they even know if adverse reactions are occurring, given that you can’t talk about it?”

What about the argument that Paypal are a private company and ought to be able to exclude whoever the hell they like? This is one of many things I would gladly leave to the free market if we lived in anything like a free market. Unfortunately, in the real world the big companies are locked in a loving embrace with the State. They are quite happy to squelch troublesome people like Toby Young in exchange for regulators squelching troublesome competitors. In an industry where there are very few big players, it does not take long for a senior civil servant to make all the necessary calls. Then suddenly all sorts of ordinary things get difficult. Want to buy or sell on eBay? This is the list of permitted payment methods. Short, isn’t it? How long before all of them follow Paypal’s lead?

I miss the days when these verses from the Book of Revelation were the preserve of wild-eyed men walking the streets wearing sandwich boards:

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads,

17 that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name.

14 comments to Paypal have shut down the account of the Free Speech Union

  • Thing to do is go after PayPal’s licence to do business in the UK. If a foreign business is going to take it upon itself to try and suppress discourse in UK…

  • I think the FSU should sue PayPal for libel in a British court: after all, by their actions they have declared FSU is guilty of promoting “hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance.”

    Good luck finding a British jury that agrees with that!

    So, all you lawyers out there: this is your chance to do a piece of pro bono work which would be genuinely historic. Get to it.

    Also see this: https://mjtcoldwater.substack.com/p/tech-tyrant

  • johnd2008

    Here in New Zealand a Coroner has just ruled that a young (mid twenties) man died of Myocarditis brought on by the Covid vaccine.I believe there is also at least one other here too.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I’ve written to PP asking for explanation. I’m a financial journalist and was very polite abs detailed in my approach. I’ll see if it responds.

    I’m a FSU member.

  • JohnB

    People are not completely accurate in their thinking. Those who think they can solve the world’s problems can be the most dangerous.
    Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin, etc, etc. (I refrain from mentioning those still living!)

    As our technological ability increases, with an infinite ability to process data becoming possible, it does seem we are headed for problems. Even with the best will in the world.
    Such as the lines from Revelation mentioned by Natalie indicate.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Johnathan, that sounds like an extremely effective way to make Paypal think twice. I am also a FSU member, as of yesterday. I’m thinking about dropping Paypal, but to be honest I am hesitant because Paypal has wormed its way pretty deeply into my financial life, both as a buyer and a seller. The seller aspect is more difficult to change. Some places won’t let you sell at all unless you accept Paypal.

  • Jon Eds

    At what stage does a private company become so pervasive in our lives that they are no different to the State? I don’t think there are actually that many examples (Amazon is the closest example I can think of, but if they disappeared overnight there are plenty of alternatives). The problem is that we have a governing class – both in politics and business – that is well to the left of the general population, and are happy to throw their weight around. They also suffer from groupthink, so you can find yourself unbanked overnight.

    One small change that would help is a requirement that public companies (i.e. available for purchase on a stock exchange) must serve all customers (as ‘public’) regardless of their views. So if Paypal wants to be listed on the stock exchange, then they can’t pull these stunts. A blunt tool, but easy enough to justify without resorting to the can of worms of constitutional law.

  • After escaping Spain, Orwell remarked that

    Fortunately, ‘Trotskyism’ isn’t extraditable.

    He also noted that a few earlier cases had

    given the British Communist Party a wholesome dread of the law of libel

    so that highly-explicit accusations against the POUM militia in foreign papers were watered down in English ones.

    I rarely see our lack of a first amendment as being in the slightest advantageous, but it may be that the constitution-despising but first-amendment-exploiting PayPal censors are rashly ignorant of the effect its absence has had on UK libel law. One can hope – and wish good luck to Jonathan and others.

    Remembering Orwell reminded me that the old left, especially where they ruled (e.g Russian communism), sometimes seemed to hate ‘heretical’ socialists even more than capitalists; certainly, there wasn’t as much in it as one might expect. Similarly, today, the intersectional hierarchy wars are very bitter – IIRC, PayPal cancelled the account of ‘Gays Against Groomers’ in the same purge that dropped the Free Speech Union. I confess that, on the day the USSC ‘found’ a right to gay marriage in the constitution, I did not foresee that just ten years later, those who did not grow their acronym beyond LGB would find themselves the Trotskyists of the movement with the ice pick not unimaginable.

  • What if PayPal wanted to not do business with African Americans? They’re a private company, after all. I get the sense that their executive management would end up in jail.

  • Martin

    It’s rather amusing in a black comedy way looking at the idealism Peter Thiel professed in PayPal’s early years how it would help prevent governments screw their citizens and would undermine corrupt governments.

    I immediately assume that when corporate bosses talk in any terms of idealism nowadays that they are on the verge of trying to screw the public big time.

    I remember reading how Ayn Rand claimed in 1961 that big business was a persecuted minority and thinking that was probably complete rubbish even back then. Nowadays you have to be totally insane to believe Rand’s claim.

  • bobby b

    “What if PayPal wanted to not do business with African Americans? They’re a private company, after all.”

    We have specific federal and state statutes that make such associational choices illegal. Race, gender, affectional preference, age – the immutable things that we cannot change about ourselves are not allowable factors in such choices. (Unless, apparently, if you are white.)

    Political leanings? Not so much. I’m still free to refuse to do business with antifa, or Democrats, or Hilary Clinton. This is a good thing.

    We just need to carefully amend Section 230 of the Internet Decency Act. Make them declare if they are publishers, or not, and then enforce those standards. If they’re making content-driven decisions, they’re publishers.

  • bobby b

    Too-late-to-edit note about the above 10:23pm:

    My final paragraph is more aimed at the Twitters of the world. Not so much PayPal.

  • Paul Marks

    This is part of a wider agenda – namely the ESG (Environmental and Social Governance) agenda.

    The idea that this is one rogue company (with the implied follow-on “just do business with another company”) is wrong – it is a basic error.

    In the future dissenters will not be allowed financial services – it will not be “like blacks under Jim Crow”, it will be worse (yes worse) than the situation of blacks under Jim Crow.

    Essentially dissenters will not be allowed to live at all – we will be excluded from economic life. This is a deliberate long-term policy – and now not so long term, as 2030 (the target date) is only eight years away. It is ironic (to put the matter mildly) that the people who call themselves part of the “resistance” in their social media bios, are the very people who are most fanatical in their desire to stamp out all dissent, all resistance.

    In reality if someone says they “resist” it means they wish to crush all resistance, all dissent. The inversion of language is total.

    Can the United Kingdom opt out to this creeping totalitarianism? In theory yes – but it will be very difficult in practice.

    A series of “legally non-binding” (ho-ho-ho) agreements have been signed by British governments going back many decades – back to the time (the start of the 1990s) when it was not Agenda 2030, it was Agenda 21. The “cultural aspect” (read censorship and the destruction of all dissent) of the “sustainable development goals” has come in gradually, but now your pension fund (if you have a pension) is most likely committed to the ESG system – no investment (no business with) “Climate Deniers”, “racists”, “Covid idiots” and-so-on – indeed no business with political or cultural dissenters in general (but plenty of business with the lickspittle conformists who call themselves “the resistance” in their social media bios).

    I agree with Perry that Paypal should have its license to do business in the United Kingdom removed – after all (bobby to the contrary) if racial discrimination is not allowed than neither should political discrimination (“I am not excluding you because you are black Dr Sowell, but because you are not Progressive – now GET TO THE BACK OF THE BUS” – it amounts to the same thing, Thomas Sowell is still in the back of the bus, if he is allowed on the bus at all).

    “Of course, I am not denying you a bank account because you are black Thomas Sowell – I am denying you a bank account because you are a Reactionary, and you will find that no shop in this town will sell you food – because we are now a cashless society, and Reactionaries do not get payment services.

    Think about that bobby b – that is a death sentence (death by starvation) for political dissenters, that cannot come to pass, it must be stopped.

    The ESG system is backed, in the United States, by the Federal Reserve (and so on) and in the United Kingdom by the Bank of England (and so on).

    It will take dramatic political action to break this – sadly sometimes that which was created by politics (such as Agenda 2030 – or the original Jim Crow laws) can only be broken by politics.

    “You can NOT discriminate against someone on the basis of their opinions expressed away from your business”.

    Otherwise, dissenters will not get be able to get a job (even if they say nothing about politics or culture whilst at work) and will not be able to run their own business – because they will not be able to get financial services (including payment services).

  • Paul Marks

    I was excluded from a bus once – in Belfast, because of my English accent (the driver being a member of the “Nationalist Community”).

    What practical difference to me would it have made if the driver had excluded me because facial recognition technology (now being developed) had flagged me up as a “Reactionary”?

    And I am a Reactionary – it would not be a matter of the computer lying about me, it would be telling the truth.

    Do I have to walk then?

    And walk to where – if no shop will do business with me (“sorry your debit card is no longer valid – the bank has removed you, and all other banks will do the same”), and I cannot be employed anywhere.